Three years ago i moved into a new house. In the garden was a lovely apple tree. The first year we harvested 10 buckets of fruit. I'm not talking small buckets, there was lots of fruit.
I could tell the tree hadn't been pruned in years so I set about pruning the tree. I have done so every year since cutting off the new spindly shoots that make it look like a tree hedgehog.
The problem is I haven't gotten more than 10 apples off the tree in the last two years. They were apples the size of my hand and tasted great.
My question is how much pruning is too much pruning? I have no idea what type of apple it is. They are pale yellow in color, ready in early September and don't keep well. It's definitely not a cooking apple as they shrink a lot when I make apple pie from them. They were great for apple sauce the first year.
-----------Edit to add info on how I read you should prune the tree-----
My apple tree had a lot of long thin branches coming off the main trunk / branches. I read that in the first year you should cut those back to 4 spurs. (Spurs are the little nubs where next year’s growth will come off of.) The following year a bunch of new long thin branches will appear out of the 4 spurs you left behind. Those you cut down to 3 spurs. The following year you cut the new spurs down to 2. This should give you a fruiting cluster.
Here is a lovely artwork example of what I mean.
- First year is red, it has 4 green spurs coming off of it.
- Second year the green spurs sprout giving you the light blue ones. Cut them back to 3.
- Third year the light blue spurs sprout giving you the purple ones. Cut them back to 2.
- Fourth year keep purple ones to 1 spur forever.
This should give you 24 spurs for fruit.