I have a Northern Spy that is about 15 years. I did a poor job pruning and it became a tangled mess. Last year I cut most of it down, left a nurse limb and redrafted using bark grafts. The grafts got infected because I left the tape on too long.
Now I just want to cut the whole thing back to the trunk and let it regrow. Is this a good idea?
The nurse limb or partial should be kept until you have some grafts take below it. Suggest keep trying using side bark grafts this spring and leave a portion of your nurse limb growing.
I am top working a 20 year old Tompkins King that was trying to grow too high, so I am removing the top growing limbs and this year use crabapple scions to heal the rather large top cut of about 10” diameter. My hope is that the crabapple interstems will grow much slower and help throttle the vigor of the central leader. If this does not work I will have to eventually remove it as it tends to grow more wood than apples