Pruning Mature Trees
Limit the height and spread of older mature trees. Their height can be limited to 7 to 9 feet tall by removing large branches from the upper side of scaffolds, leaving only small fruit-producing shoots. Head back primary scaffold branches to an outside-growing side branch. Remove or cut back damaged portions of larger branches. Maintain the open center to prevent shading of the interior portion of the tree. Retain shoots that grow horizontally and 12- to 18-inch fruiting shoots, regardless of their orientation. Thin fruiting shoots to a spacing of about 4 to 6 inches apart on the limbs.