So I ruthlessly thinned my GoldRush & there are still 350 apples!
So today, following advice (thanks everyone), I thinned my 4 -yr-old GoldRush. I assiduously removed all but the best apple in every cluster, and removed all the apples from clusters closer than 4" to each other as Harvestman advised. (Except that I couldn't reach the top couple of feet at all with my ladder, so I couldn't thin those clusters at all.)
Well, I counted as I was going along and there are still at least 350 apples on the tree. I was amazed at how much fruit it had set -- must've been about 1500 apples or more.
I plan to continue to follow Harvestman's advice and, in a few more weeks, reduce the load to one apple every 8 or 9 inches. However, I believe this will still leave about 200 apples. Should I thin more, or will the tree be able to handle that? Or will insects or squirrels take care of the excess?
The thinning was very interesting. I noted that the clusters on the ends of the branches had the least good apples. I noted that nature loves redundancy.