pruning a branch thicker and taller than the leader
My prairie fire crab apple has a branch thicker and as tall as the leader. Should I prune it off? It would leave that side of the tree bare.
Lane County Oregon pruning
Usually the side branch would be pruned back to keep the branch less vigorous than the main leader.
I would prune the side branch back to a side bud to shorten the branch. Prune to a leaf bud which will grow into a side branch.
Prune each year to keep the tree in balance.