Developing top on a collected apple

I am growing out a shoot for a new top on this apple. It is very vigorous, shoot was only an inch long in early May. I plan on cutting it partway down at some point. What is the timing on cutback to develop taper and branching? Thank you!


Two things to keep in mind. One approach is to let the apex (or a given branch) thicken to the desired size before doing any trimming. Once it reaches the size you’re looking for, you can prune (either spring or fall) back to where you want side branching.

The other idea is that the stronger the tree - and the stronger the branch you’re looking to prune - the stronger the response will be. The tree looks healthy now so it would be an OK time to prune if you’re aim is to refine, but not thicken, the branches.

If you do prune now, I’d do it soon as pruning later in the season doesn’t allow much time before the tree slows down for fall. But based on the overall vigor, you could wait until the leaves turn yellow and just prune in fall as it doesn’t look like the tree will get away from you in the next couple months.

Thank you for the advice Jonas. My first priority is to thicken the shoot so I will leave it on and cut it back later. David