Our standard size apple tree has lost half of its leaves for the second year now. Its the middle of summer, and the bottom half of the tree drops its leaves, and we are not sure why. I think this tree may be a Winesap, but I'm not sure. This tree usually fruits bi-annually, every second year, but has not set any fruit recently.
An initial web search has not turned up any concrete info, but I'm still looking. I'm thinking its some sort of fungus. This tree is in a line of trees, so parts of it do not get a lot of air around it to keep the leaves dry. Spraying the tree is not practical, as the top if it is about 25' high.
The tree does have apple maggots, which accounts for the fruit drop that occurs, and i have tried to deal with that with the red spheres coated with pine tar. I have also bought pheromone traps from Fedco Seeds.
This tree was planted by Mike, who built the house and live in it for bout 50 years. He loved to garden and when we bought the house, it had two large apple trees in the yard. This one, and another in the lawn that is easier to prune. I have not been able to prune this one much, as it is so tall. I'm not big on climbing up a ladder with pruners to lean into a tree.
We have made cider from the apples from this tree and also applesauce, you can check those out below: