Pruning the Third and Subsequesnt Years
After careful pruning and training during the first 2 years, heavy pruning should not be necessary. Light corrective pruning should maintain the open center (Figure 5.5). A well trained tree should have 3 to 5 scaffold branches with wide angles evenly distributed around the tree. Thin out and shorten inside limbs to prevent shading of the center. Remove large, branched water sprouts. These shoots may be 4 to 7 feet long. They are not very fruitful and shade the tree center. Prune every year to keep the tree within its allotted space and to prevent limb breakage. Remove vigorous upright branches and leave the less vigorous ones. Head back limbs to encourage the development of new fruiting wood.