I've never done this before, but the books all say to thin your apples when they are 1/2"-3/4" in size. Most of mine had reached that size. Each spur had set about 3-5 apples and there are a lot of spurs on that tree. Some just a few inches away from another. The tree was just covered in little tiny apples. I picked the largest apple from each bunch and kept that one. Then trimmed off any that were closer than 6" apart. The books say 6"-8" apart. I tried for that.
Then I put on protection for the apple. I swear they look like condoms hanging off my tree though they are really footies. Not the nicest look, but I suppose they would be a conversation piece at a bbq. The little nylon footies expand well and breath. They also keep those nasty insects out. I used a twist tie to keep them on. I'm not going to spray poison on my apples if I can help it. I've also read that ziploc baggies work well if you cut the corners off of them. I don't like the look of them, but I did cover three of the apples with ziplocks. I'll see which makes the better fruit, but it would take a lot of difference for me to resort to the ziplocks on all those apples. Now it is a waiting game. Will I get good insect free apples this year? I've got my fingers crossed.
The apple that got protection is the Ginger Gold. The other apple tree in its third year is the Honeycrisp, but it has barely grown. It really struggles compared to the other. It had set two bunches of apples. I just took them off the tree. The tree really needs to get bigger. It is still only about three feet high. Then I went on to my three year old peach trees. One peach tree had set peaches already. I thinned the fruit, but the fruit is still a bit small to bag. I'll wait a few days. Like the Ginger Gold apple, the tree is covered in peaches. I had to take a lot of little peaches off. The other peach tree is still blooming. It was very late this year. It is right by the driveway and after the 2' snow storm we shoveled all the snow on around it. So the ground defrosted much later even though they are only a few yard apart. That one will need a lot more time before they get bagged.
I did get a couple of other chores done today. I got my Tigers Eye beans planted. I planted a whole 4'x8' bed up with them. I planted in rows 6" apart. But one side had the beans 6" apart in the row, and one had them 4" apart in the row. I want to see if there is a difference in production with them closer together. If not it uses a heck of a lot less seed which otherwise I could be eating.