Apple pruning novice question


I’ve got a Crimson Crisp on G935 rootstock that I planted this spring. Lots of growth in the top 3 buds, not much elsewhere. I’m hoping for some advice on how best to prune it next spring.

The problem is that the topmost bud grew long, but thin and wispy, and the 2nd and 3rd buds grew thicker, and stronger. I’m not sure if I should remove the 2nd and 3rd branches next spring, and keep promoting the weaker central leader, or prune back so that either the 2nd or 3rd branches become the new central leader. My worry is that the jutting angle of the 2nd or 3rd branches wouldn’t make for a great central leader. Attaching some photos for reference.

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You can’t have 3 limbs the same height and have a “central leader”…but looks like a nice young tree.

I’m not an expert but have planted a bunch of trees the last few years.

It depends on how attached you are to a certain form. To me you have the start of a very nice open center tree the lower two crotch angles are a bit narrow but you could spread them.

Otherwise if you are going for a central leader you could try to prune the lower branches back and try to train the new growth more laterally next year so it doesn’t compete for dominance.

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thank you. Yes I’m looking to remove 2 of them.

Cheers, yeah I have about 10 apple trees and I find that in general, a central leader form seems to be what they prefer. I’ll leaning towards removing the 2 lower branches as you suggest, as well as remove some of the top branch and hope the tree figures things out. It makes me a bit uncomfortable to remove so much growth from a young tree though.

Are there 2 more branches coming out at the very bottom also?

If not remove, at least shorten.
Depends on the height you desire for your branches.