This 3-year-old tree shows typical growth of a “high-chill” apple in a low chill climate. While some branches are leafing out fully, others have lots of blind wood. It’s hard to see, but there are a few apples the size of grapes, some the size of peas, and other branches just blossoming here the end of June. The branches have a funny shape because they were long and vertical before being pulled down horizontal, which is also what is causing all the blossoming.
Despite all this, fruit set will be heavy, annoyingly so. They will ripen in November, the perfect time here as it misses the 100 degree weather common in October. The horizontal branches are sprouting lots of vertical suckers, which usually you want to trim back to three leaves to set a fruit bud. The variety is Tompkins County King, a great variety for hot climates, as the heat doesn’t hurt the apple quality. The white trunk paint is mandatory, it should actually be painted all the way up on the south side. That one top branch on the left should be pulled down horizontal too.
This tree is acting like it wants to get big, which is these parts is about 15 feet. It will depend on the variety how easy it is to keep them smaller, but TCK is pretty vigorous and we may just let it do what it wants size-wise; everyone should have at least one big ol’ apple tree.