Spring Pruning Plan on 2 & 3 year olds
As described repeatedly in this forum by others, I too, have been addictively adding trees to my small orchard. While a percentage of the trees were "allowed" to bear their first few pieces of fruit last season, I am anticipating the first real "harvest" out of about half of my 50 + trees. I have watched YouTube videos, searched this forum, re-read the Extention literature and Harvestman's writings until "worn-eared".
After picking scaffolds in each of their first year, stone fruits in open center, apples and pears in the central leader method, I have trained, late winter pruned, spring pruned, summer pruned, limbs pulled down with twine, ropes, plastic braces, wood braces, weights, etc..
My question at this stage is this-
While the stone fruits have alot of "tertiary" branching, my pomes, specifically apples, don't really have that many established. The scaffolds are mostly less than 1/2 the size of the trunk. I have decided to limit the height of the tree to 3 tiers. So, is there a rule of thumb at this age of tree to head back the scaffolds? 1/4? 1/3? 1/2? Thanks. Chad