How would you prune?

This is a few year old Cortland apple. It got attacked by deer in 2018. Any recommendations on how to prune it? I tried to just let it grow and recover last year.

I think we would need to know what rootstock its on and what your goal in your tree is? Its a tip bearer so you need to prune it differently than other trees, usually open center or modified central leader but allowing it to do its thing.

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Thanks, I’ll contact the nursery and see if anyone knows. I bought it before learning about the different types of rootstock. All I know is it’s semi dwarf. Probably modified central leader just because I was going to do that with the tree next to it.

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Look for Skilcult pruning videos on Youtube. They are informative and helpful.


Is there a way to get a central leader going again?

If it were me, I would remove the top left leader and stake the smaller right leader to go straight up. It is young enough which will make it easier to train.

I meant for the tree in the 2nd pic.

Hope someone with more experienced will step in and help you.

Again spend a few minutes looking for Skilcult videos. It will help you for all other trees, too.

Thanks, I’ve watched most of them before. I’ll go get a refresher though.

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@RichardRoundTree - I received an email back from the nursery and they think it’s on EMLA 7 rootstock.

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I have a Cortland (3 years old), I didn’t know it was tip bearing. It has never fruited, I wonder if I’ve been pruning the fruiting buds off? It does look like it does have some fruiting buds on it this year, though.

You should prune enough off the top so you can get it as straight as possible with new healthy bud sites and then probably leave it alone for a while. I was given a box of cortland apples from new york once as a gift and they were excellent!