I have a Cortland which produces apples that are quite good, and what is special about Cortland is that the flesh does not turn brown when exposed to air.
What I don't like about Cortland is that it is not disease resistant. Consequently, I have had to struggle with crown rot amongst other problems which is slowly getting the best of my tree.
The Cortland will bloom again this year (yes, apple trees have not bloomed here, yet), but I can see the time soon when I will decide to cut it; that tree is damaged beyond repair.
I have grafted a couple of other Cortland trees that are coming along. I can't resist, the Cortlands ARE so good.
As Derry mentions, the flowers are on short branches growing all along the main branches and the tendancy in pruning would be to remove some if there are too many but not to shortened them (which would cause those branches to grow instead of producing fruits).
If you prune the tree a lot maybe you are keeping it growing branches instead of producing fruits. Have you tried weighing down branches (like suckers if they are not completely vertical) instead of cutting them? This speeds the tree to set flowers and slows down the growth. Sometime, I even attach branches (curled downward towards the trunk) for a season.
Here, Cortland is growing commercially, along with MacIntosh, and chemicals are being used. It is challenging to grow this apple without chemicals especially in a warm climate.
In my cold climate, Cortland are generally picked second week of September. It is not an early apple like Melba or YT.
Hélène, zone 3.
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