I've started pruning my apple trees. A chore that I enjoy, shaping each tree, deciding which limb stays and which limb goes. Limbs that grow inward or cross other limbs are the first to go.
The end result, a nicely balanced tree.
It's also time to collect scion wood, the one year old branches used to graft onto rootstock to produce new trees. Apples do not reproduce true by seeds. Because it takes two different varieties of apple trees to produce fruit, each seed carries a mixture of genes so each seed produces a distinctly different apple often times nothing like the "mother tree" it grew on. But by grafting a small piece of branch called a scion from a certain tree onto a rootstock (which is basically a "baby apple tree" ) you will produce a tree identical to the tree you cut the scion from.
The tips of the scion have been dipped in wax to prevent it from drying out. Labeling is crucial to keeping the scion "true" to name so that the tree you graft is "true" to name.