Six-year-old ‘Empire’/Malling 7 (M7) apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) trees were left unpruned or pruned moderately during dormancy, and early-season leaf area development patterns were examined. Pruning markedly shifted leaf area distribution from spur to extension shoot. Leaf area at and shortly after bloom nearly doubled in the unpruned trees due to the increased percentage of the leaf area in rapidly developing spurs; however, the final total leaf areas were not affected significantly by the pruning. Leaf area development in all trees slowed dramatically around full bloom. Yields were reduced in the pruned trees primarily due to fewer flower clusters. Leaf areas per tree correlated well with percentage of sky values from fisheye photography.