R. Steele wrote:Hi Brian,
Don’t prune off any branches this season, as that will slow root establishment. Once you get the structure you want there from notching, you can also use notching to slow growth on limbs you don't want. This will alow you to delay pruning off any braches untill your desired structure is well enough established, so it doesn't stress the tree in its development. People will say prune young trees heavy, but I say don't: as it can cause stress that in some cases permanently harms the tree through altered epigenetic expression. !
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Are you planning on creating a bonsai or other manipulated tree shape?
I would wait until the tree is in dormancy, it needs this year and perhaps next year for the root system to establish so the tree will not be stressed when you do prune it.
Winter is the time for pruning, early spring is the time for notching most fruit trees.
If you were to prune or notch now, you would invite insect damage to occur as well as sending out the call to feed for fungi spores that are airborne.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:The one thing I would do at this point in the year would be to decide which leader you want to keep and I would get rid of the other and use Elmer's glue to seal that one wound.
Leaving a double leader can lead to deformation of both leaders and that ends up weakening the tree.
notching this late in the season does not allow for enough time for new growth to fully harden before winter, that can lead to death of the new branches.
There are three options available in your situation.
1. do nothing till winter, your tree isn't old enough to not respond to good, judicial care of branching.
2. remove the unwanted leader and seal the wound to prevent insect/fungal damage.
3. turn the unwanted leader into another tree by air layering and waiting until a good mass of roots have formed on the scion then cut off seal wound and plant new tree.
you can, in the spring, encourage new branching where you want it to occur by inducing bud formation as per R. Steele's suggestion and method.
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