Nice surprise from apple tree
I have never grown any type of tree, fruit or otherwise. When I was growing up my grandfather had a limbertwig apple tree which was my favorite, especially for green apple pies and applesauce. 5 years ago I bought one (a year old whip) and it has grown taller than my house with about a 10 to 12 foot spread. This year it is loaded with apples. The first couple of years it was easy to prune. I read to cut distal 1/3 of each branch off, plus any branches pointed towards the center or crossing another branch. I could do that. This year I am crying uncle and getting someone who knows more about it to do my pruning. The surprise has been what apparently is the trait that earned the tree its name. The lower branches drooped almost to the ground. This was especially a problem since it was beside a garden path. Today I picked all the apples from the two branches over the path, filled a 5 gallon bucket plus all I could put in my shirttail. Now the branches are back in the air where they belong!
I did not thin them last spring and have never treated the tree for pests. A lot of the apples are misshapen and bug and bird munched on, but most are round and sound.
Beside a good pruning and thinning next spring, do you have any advise for me? I am thinking dormant oil spray this winter. What else organic treatment should I add? I'm good with sharing with the birds.