I have a 3rd leaf pineapple quince that appears to have put on more top growth than the branches can support. This is causing several branches to bend to the ground (see the attached picture). I did some reading and it looks like I can either (1) prune the top part off (2) remove the excessive growth by pulling the leaves or (3) try to stake the branches to the correct vertical position. If this was your tree what would you do?
I’d cut it back. That should force lower, bushier type growth.
If you want a tall tree you could support the branches. But those look way too whimpy for my taste.
I’d probably scratch the bark on the bottom side of the drooping limbs about six inches from their tips…and lay a stone on top of where I scratched.
Get a couple free plants that way.
I’d use a metal conduit stake to support a central leader, cut off everything more than half the diameter of that leader where it connects with it and start to build a scaffold structure capable of holding a crop. Drooping branches don’t have to be dealt with immediately if they are contributing to the overall vigor of the tree, but ultimately you will need to choose permanent scaffold branches with a preferable about 60 degree angle from trunk. These can be cut back to an upright to stiffen as you develop them.
Many varieties of pears tend to develop floppy growth. This can help a tree fruit younger but once a tree is bearing I tend to cut it off or back.
I cut the bending branches back about 10" down like fruitnut suggested. The tree is putting on some serious growth so that should have minimal impact on vigor. Thanks for the suggestions!