I received a photo of a young pecan trees with the simple question--" How should I prune this tree?" (photo above, right).
At some point in the past, the top of this tree had been pruned off leaving a 2 inch stump and no strong central leader. Currently, this tree needs more training than actual pruning. First, I'd start by cutting off the stump at the top (cut marked in blue). Next, I'd drive a wooden or steel post next to this tree. With the stake in place, I would tie the uppermost branch to the stake, holding it in an upright position and forcing it to become my central leader (the future tree trunk).
If you look carefully at this upper branch, you will note that side shoots are starting to develop (see area in the red oval above). Here's where you practice the 2-foot rule by removing all side shoots along the upper 2 feet of the central leader.
The final step in training this tree is to slow the growth of the lower side shoots. I simply pinch out the growing point from each shoot using my fingers. This should push more of the tree's growth energy into the central leader yet maintain a healthy level of foliage on the tree.
The quick answer is: 'B' and 'C' are leaves and not competing shoots. Don't prune them. The reason they are taller than the terminal of the central leader is because these leaves are older than the leaves at the terminal and thus more fully expanded. (By the way, I love the deer cage).
tree structural problems. Pinch off these stalked buds as soon as you see them. Not only will you prevent future tree branch angle problems but you will further stimulate the growth of the central leader.