The trees are dormant so it is time for their annual pruning! Pruning apple trees should be done in late winter or early spring before new leaves begin to appear and there are no leaves on the branches so it is easier to see the structure of the tree and what cuts are necessary. By late winter, the tree is fully dormant and less susceptible to injury. This also gives the tree a chance to form a protective barrier behind the pruning cuts before insect and disease organisms become active. Up to one-third of the live wood on an apple tree can be removed each year.