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in Problem solving
Yes you can....do it now. But be prepared to prune back in late summer any lomg whippy shoots. Take advantage too to remove all dead branches and branches that are crossing others.
You don't say what variety of apple tree you have but if a spur bearer.....I.e. bearing apples along the branches .....I would cut back ...spur back....several sub branches in late summer.
Cox is a spur bearer so pruning is pretty easy.
I have rejuvenated a couple of apple trees. Thing is to reduce or remove the mass of water shoots that come from drastic pruning. For me it is a common sense attitude...to get the tree you want and not to be overcome with too much theory of what to do and what not to do.
.......mind ??ou my sis in law once accused me of killing her apple tree many years ago but I did point out at the time her tree was already dying. (never wrong, see! )