First year pink lady apple tree. Is it all down hill from here? Or can I save it …
Given your location my guess is sun scald, try painting the trunk with a white latex paint partially thinned with water, or use lime slurry to paint it.
Were you in an area with emergence of one of the big cicada broods? That looks like a cicada oviposition scar that’s well along the way of healing.
I had an apple tree with a similar wound after first season, where part of the stem was dark and sunken in. It bounced back by itself after two years and now it’s healed over and back to normal.
I agree with @Lucky_P , yours looks like it’s healing up. The dark, dead tissue on the surface might be hiding healthy, live tissue underneath.
Another possibility is Anthracnose Canker, which causes damage that looks similar to sun scald, but won’t be limited to the south side of the trunk. I’ve had similar damage on two newly planted apple trees, but all of the damage healed by itself. I’ve read that copper spray may limit the damage, and I regularly spray my apple trees with copper to prevent scab.
Thank you guys I’m hopeful it’s on its heeling process now.
I also sprayed copper in early spring. My issue could have been a canker as well.