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My established Bramley trees throw off an enormous amount of water shoots:

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This was taken earlier in the year; the ones I didn't cull have grown up to a metre in a single year (I think they must be on very vigorous root stock but they are not planted somewhere they can grow very large).

Are there any times of year removing these might cause problems, or should I just remove them whenever I have the time?

  • Bramleys are a "triploid" variety which means they tend to be more vigorous than most other varieties, even on the same root stock. – Max Spencer Sep 12 at 10:45
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Ideally the best time to prune the tree is while it is dormant in the winter, just before spring. However, if you need to keep it proportional, you can easily remove some of the growth - you can remove some of the stems entirely for better airflow and you can cut outstandingly tall ones after a few nodes.

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