Pruning tip bearers - apple

Is there any method of pruning “tip-bearer” apples to allow growing as espalier?


You might find the following link interesting. I’m not privy on all the details of how this guy keeps his stock trees looking so nice. I don’t have an answer to your question, but it made me think of this video:

How bout a name for the cultivar? Tip bearer or not, the deal is to maintain small wood off the scaffolds. Short, of course, but also thin diameter.

The two cultivars are , Yellow Transparent and Yellow Newton Pippin.

Thanx for the vid. It does not speak directly to my question but I learned something new about the Limbertwigs as I just grafted some this year.

Like I say … Any day you learn something new is a good day.


Yellow Newton does not fit my definition of a tip bearer. You will have to get your fruit from Yellow Transparent from unpruned annual shoot tips on their second season. Hopefully the tree will leave you enough small shoots to allow you to keep it tidy. I’ve never managed either of these trees as espaliers and would expect them to be a bit of a challenge to manage in this form. Better to go with naturally spurry and precocious varieties like Goldrush.


I have Goldrush and it looks like it should have a nice crop this year.

I guess I will be playing around with Yellow Transparent.


Golden russet is listed as a tip bearer on Orangepippen website. Is there a trick to pruning them? I have 2 and would like them to do well.

Tip bearing seems to me to be a term used to express two different fruiting characteristics- tipbearers like Yellow Transparent, whose entire crop I believe to be derived from the tips of annual shoots and varieties like Jonagold and Fuji where a portion of the crop is, but that bear the majority of their fruit on spurs.

Your question will have me looking closely at a couple of GR’s I’m managing that have full crops right now. When I was thinning them I didn’t notice them bearing predominantly on tips, but I might have missed it.

In answer to your question, training will not be altered by fruiting habit if you aren’t growing them as espaliers. You wouldn’t be cutting the tips off in any case and once the trees start fruiting, observation will reveal how to coax the most crop from the trees.

If they are on vigorous rootstocks you may find them pretty challenging to train for other reasons. They have a difficult growth habit to steer and are quite slow to come into bearing, in my experience. Be sure to remove branches more than half the diameter of the trunk if you are in any kind of hurry. I won’t let a branch more than a third stay on trees with their growth habit. They are unruly children.