New bareroot apple tree, is this PC damage?

I planted this William’s Pride apple tree as a bareroot early this spring. It has leafed out but only at the terminal ends of the branches. I am completely new to growing fruit trees and the other fruit trees I planted over the last couple years were potted and don’t look like this. Is this a concern? Sorry for the not-so-great picture quality

My other concern is that it did develop a single fruit, which I will be removing but I wanted to ask if this looks like plum curculio damage? I don’t see any U shaped marks but this swollen area looks similar to pictures I have seen online.

Don’t know about Pc but you may want to take those lower limbs off or prune back to the first vertical growth bud so that they grow vertical unless you want them growing lower. It’s also a good time to start notching the growth buds along the other limbs to encourage some laterals to fill in during this first growth season. Read up on notching techniques first if you are not familiar already.
Kent, wa


The advice is much appreciated Dennis! I will do some reading up right now.

It’s a good idea now to start thinking about how high you want to pick apples. How high do you really want to climb? Topping is best done when the tree reaches your desired height rather than waiting only to discover years from now that you regret topping it. The earlier you top it to limit vertical growth, the least amount of work to keep all limbs at a manageable height. This is especially true if it’s a standard rootstock which if not topped can grow over 20’ high. I waited too late to top several trees and now have to do a lot of pruning to keep them at a level where I can easily spray, thin and pick the fruit.

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Good point! Its on M106 rootstock and I live in a rural area with growing deer pressure so I’d like a happy medium between ease of picking but there still being fruit left for me to pick! Should I consider topping this tree?

With a deer threat you have only a few choices. Until you decide which way to go do not top it! If you don’t have many trees a fence around them would be your best bet but a deer can easily clear a 5 foot fence.
An electric fence may be the better choice.
You could also just spray the tree with a very hot pepper sauce, this requires breathing and eye protection, then you have to think about washing the fruit but if you use surround to protect from insects you have to wash it anyway!
There is a lot to think about. There are other members here who know how to deal with deer better than I. I’m fortunate not to have that pest!
BTW what part of country do you live?

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Also with M106 you have plenty time to decide when to top it. Keep the central leader to about 8-10’. When the fruit weighs it down it will be within reach with out a ladder. So a plan for deer protection is most important.

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Thanks so much for this Dennis! I’m in Northern Illinois. Thankfully, the deer are not too bad today but we’ve lived here for 9 years and in that time, we have been seeing more and more of them every year in the yard. They seem mostly to come in winter; when necessity forces them to take the risky cross over the bare, exposed cornfields in search of food. So far, they have only done minor damage but I am expecting that to change.

I plan on watching some Youtube videos on notching this week. From what I have read so far, it seems like this is something I should wait to do until spring, correct?

Hi Nicole,
You can notch now or as soon as growth begins. This thread tells a lot: When to notch a tree

A less expensive way to deal with deer is to have a guard dog near your tree at night when deer typically roam. A Black and Tan or blue tick hound would do the trick. When I was a kid growing up in TN, I coon hunted with friends that had hounds. They love to track and chase deer. You can also go to the members map to see if you have others near you that have innovative ideas to manage deer.


I sure appreciate all your help!

Anytime good luck

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You may not want to let it carry any fruit at all, it can stunt growth this early

Thank you! I did remove it shortly after taking the picture. I was just wondering what kind of damage this is, but it is probably hard to tell.

It is probably not PC. Not sure what it is.

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Thanks for weighing in!