Do I need to prune my young apple tree? Pics!

We planted this Anna apple tree last spring, and grafted 4 additional varieties on to it. Do I need to do any pruning this year? Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks, Ed

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Bump. I know there must be some out there with experience with young apple trees. I just want to do the right thing. Have gotten mixed info on the research I’ve done. Some say to leave it alone, and some say to top it to the height you want to force outward growth. Am leaning toward topping. Thanks, Ed

It’s difficult to make suggestions for a couple of reasons. What form do you intend to use for this tree: open center, central leader, modified central leader? What rootstock is this on? That will help determine mature height of the tree, although a more vigorous rootstock can be pruned to a smaller form with aggressive pruning, which would be a lifetime commitment. And perhaps most important of all, it’s not clear where you’ve added 4 additional varieties, so suggesting you prune something off or back may be pruning off one of the grafted varieties.

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It’s an open center, which you can kind of tell from the photos, although not that clear. Not sure of the rootstock, but the tag says 20’-30’ high, so assuming not a dwarf. I added arrows to the photo showing the grafted branches…two of them look close together but it’s the angle of the photo, it’s actually further behind. On the graft farthest to the right, a Dorsett Golden, it already has a few blossom clusters about halfway up the branch This is our first apple tree, (as you can tell,) and is more of a fun project/experiment trying to grow apples in Z9a. So not looking to get too type A on it, just don’t want to go too far wrong. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks, Ed

I just planted Anna apple myself yesterday in hopes it will like our weather (we’re in similar zone). One variety I know for sure does well in the heat is Winter Banana, in case you’re looking for other apples as well.


I would cut back those two most vigorous branches to keep the tree balanced. Otherwise it looks like a good start

I like the delayed open center form shown in this video: Fruit Tree Training Explained, Modfied Central Leader & Delayed Open Center - YouTube

Remove all the non-graft stuff from that side of the tree, have the Anna on one side only. Head those two taller ones to even things out.


I see the small apple tree was planted nearby the root of the huge tree. I just wonder how it can fight for the nutrition with that big tree. Also the big tree might block the sun for the small apple tree.
To keep the multi-grafting tree balanced, you should
Trim all the branches to the same length at the beginning.

Thanks for the help everyone. Great suggestions. I hear what you are saying about the large tree. It’s close but not that close, and the canopy isn’t huge. Had the south side trimmed last year, and the apple tree is on the south side of the big tree. Feeding the apple tree won’t be a problem, and a little dappled shade in mid summer down here in USDA 9a, HZ9, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Thanks again, Ed

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