Airlayered Japanese Crabapple - next stepss

Hello to all experienced in dealing with fruiting trees :slight_smile: Hope you will be kind to share some tips for below airlayered branch from last year.
It is my first fruiting tree and since I nearly killed it last year by removing it too early from it’s mother tree I want to make sure I do the next part right.
It definitely needs a repot being in a mix of random soil mix of pumice and multipurpose peat free compost and a bit of bonsai mix. Percolation worsened this year (but it is manageable) and it obviously grew good quantity of roots. I even removed all fruit right after flowering so it focuses the energy in growing leaves / root production. I know I need to repot in early spring before it leaf out.
My question is ab the trunk chop. As you can see it is way too long (a meter or so) and I would like to half it at least. When would be the best to do so based on the fact it needs a repot next spring and what should I be careful of? I sense it will die back pretty wildly. Any tips here?
Thank you

Given the tough start with the removal being early I would leave all the foilage, repot in the spring and avoid the temptation to trunk chop that same spring during typical post harden ( chopping time) and if it is extremely vigorous make the chop that fall at leaf drop and leave it 1/4( this an objective guess, everyone says leave it longer)or so longer than you would like for winter die back on a post leaf drop trunk chop.

This would be my plan but following the plan and not the emotions of wanting to make something happen is most of this game!


BTW its a nice size air layer, how long did you have it on for?

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Thank you @NEBeech :slight_smile:
It’s been airlayered at the end of April last year and removed around 10-12 weeks later with decent root mass. Decent I say - my first branch airlayer and it survived even tho it wilted and dropped it’s leaves right after the removal in the middle of unusually very dry year with no rain in months in UK. Having no greenhouse I wrapped it in clear plastic bags (it was cca 2m long branch), kept it in shade and misted it daily / twice a day as long as life allowed me to. Bounced back and produced leaves after few weeks time.
It was probably the size that the root ball couldn’t support and if I had done it again I would have attached a pot with soil around and let it be on the mother tree till fall at least. It’s a good experience, just a mistake we learn from and lucky me I didn’t pay for it :dancer:t2: