Age of branches to be trained at proper angle?

We planted around a dozen fruit trees this spring – peach, apple, and 1 cherry. We did prune them back (height wise) when we planted them as we are aiming for smaller, more managable trees. The deer did a little extra pruning but not too bad. :wink: I intended to choose some good branches and put light weights on them to encourage the proper angle but with a toddler & a baby and a big garden it never happened. Will the branches be too old/thick next year to do that? I’m hoping not. . .

I’d say that they won’t be too thick, but if they are on the thicker side you can always cut a single or several notches out of the bottom of the branch with a saw to get them to bend better. That will also prevent a split from running down the trunk if the branch does crack.

Do it when the sap is flowing and the buds are breaking or after. The branches are more brittle when dormant.

How do I know? I split out the central leader trying to bend branches on the apple tree I was most excited to get fruit from. I did it last March when doing my pruning, and didn’t get any apples from that tree as a result.