Tip-Bearing apples

I just got a few tip-bearing apples (didn’t realize they were tip bearing until after I got them.)

They’re still first-year grafts, but I want to make sure I’m growing and shaping and pruning them correctly. I understand they need to be treated a bit differently than spur bearers, but I’m a little confused as to what The differences are and what I should do.


I’m in the same boat. What I’ve done so far, say with Black Limbertwig, is do almost no pruning until I can see where it bears fruit. But not sure how to prune tip bearers.


I have the same issue with Irish Peach and Golden Russet. I have been pinching back the growing tips in June. No idea if this is right, and I am running on the premiss that I will need more branches for tip bearers. Golden Russet has responded will more branching out but it is a small tree. I could be creating more problems not less.


I would not do much pruning until they have been in production a couple years. the weight of the apples bends down upright branches to nice angles and encourages more branches.


I would imagine a willow-like umbrella is the ideal form. Maybe put it on Geneva.30 rootstock?
Here is StephenHayesUK growing the Irish Peach apple.



You don’t really prune tip bearers differently than other apples- unless you are growing them as an espalier. Just train the trees as you would any other, whether as a central leader or open center. It will likely develop it’s own distinctive form within this strategy, as all apple trees will.

Tip bearers are not the only ones with a distinctive bearing habit. Some varieties only sometimes bear on the tips of last years wood. Many varieties bear their biggest, best apples on the 2nd year wood (year after last) of shoots- especially newer varieties. Some don’t develop fruit on wood less than 3 years old.

For beginners it is best to prune as little as possible- removing only excessively thick wood (check my pruning by ratios article in guides), The trees will likely bear fruit sooner and let you know a lot about how the individual variety needs to be managed based on how it bears.

It can be helpful to wait until flowers are clearly visible to do pruning on trees that are just reaching bearing age.


Thank you very much for your sound advice, Alan. That is what I will do. I just want to do everything “correctly” from the beginning and I needed a reminder that sometimes I should just step back and let the tree tell me what it wants.

Thank you for the video, Matt. Mine are not on G30 but G935. Hopefully that works.