Pruning Honey Crisp

Asked January 20, 2018, 12:17 AM EST

I planted an 8 ft Honey Crisp apple tree with a 2 inch diameter trunk in our back yard 3 years ago in late summer. It had a little immature apple on it that fell off shortly after planting. I have been waiting for it to produce apples but nothing has happened yet. In Spring, after the first winter, I noticed that the bark in the mid section of the trunk had split in a couple places. Later I learned that it may have occurred during a late winter thaw then re-freeze. I heard that I could have possibly prevented the splitting if I had wrapped the tree. Now the tree is 12 ft tall. No blossoms observed in Spring and I have never pruned it. I would like to know how to prune it now that it is taller. There is a very long sucker? branch that grew inside a plastic tree trunk protector that is now as tall as the central leader. I assume this must be pruned. The bark splitting from the first year looks kind of ugly both otherwise the tree seems healthy. I have not fertilized it. I have read that a central leader approach works well for apple trees and I am wondering how I should go about it at this stage. The tree is not bushy. It is kind of this and tall. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Hennepin County Minnesota honeycrisp apple

1 Response The branch that is competing with the central leader should be removed. Don’t expect apples from your tree until it is at least 8 years old, sometimes they bear earlier but not usually. If you would like to see a video on how to prune honey crisp apples do a google search for “you tube video pruning a honey crisp apple”. Short frost cracks are usually not a problem.