Apple tree plan - height of lowest branches above deer browse?
ok we just planted 4 1 yr old bare root apple trees and have a fairly decent deer population. ideally since they are 80% full size (M111 and B118 rootstocks) i would like to get the lowest branches above the browse line (4-5 ft) vs fencing. Temp fencing is ok for a couple seasons but i dont want to do it for good.
question: should i prune off all the lateral branches under 4' or do the ones at 30'' get higher as the tree gets bigger? do branches move in height or are they where they will always be right now.
that being said, if they are where they will always be at 30'' (roughly for lowest) will they go up at a steep enough angle to keep the fruit and new growth out of browse in 2-3 years?