Creating Scaffold limbs question


5 year old buck +
I have some young apple trees - some planted last year, some 3 or 4 years ago - that are in various stages of limb development. If I want to end up with bottom limbs that are 5' or 6' off the ground, do I just keep pruning the lowest limbs until I achieve that? Or do I " let some wood " on to make leaves & soak up the sun to encourage more growth? If I cut off the lowest limbs, will that make the tree push upward so newer limbs will be higher to become scaffolds? I have time, $$$, & sweat invested so I don't want to mess it up now by making the wrong move. APPLE GUYS ??? Thanks in advance for any & all help.
It's interesting, I know what the thought process is to want to get the tree to grow up. However every seminar, demo, every thing I've read has always stressed balance. I have grown trees for deer for over 20 years and have always just taken things a little at a time and like to see the trees have more canopy to take in sun. I think whips tend to be "whippy". I had a friend that kept pruning off branches on trees we planted at the same time and mine are definitely bigger around in diameter.

Not to say you can't prune the branches early, but my experience always tells me to take my time, train them well and strive for good balance and strong trees. I like having a few scaffolds, and just take out a couple branches at a time.
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I agree with Maya. In my limited experience trees dont put on much diameter and dont develop as great of a root system when you keep them stripped down to whips. Leaves are the food production factory for the tree, less energy produced by the tree is going to slow growth in some area.
I talked to a local orchardist who's grown apple trees all his life. He says when he plants new whips, he prunes off the top 10" or so of leader so the tree pushes branches. Then he said he lets them go for about 3 years or so to put on some wood and develop the branches. Then he said he looks to prune for scaffold branches and train the limbs. I guess that's right along the lines of what you guys are saying. It makes sense to let the tree grow some before getting too involved training I guess. I've only been planting grafted apples & crabapples for a couple years. I had planted un-named crabs in years past, but never " trained " them in any way. They've produced well for deer & grouse with only a little 10-10-10 each year. Named, grafted apple varieties - I'm still learning. I appreciate your answers and any & all help. Those with experience are the best teachers. Thank-you.