As sections of the branch framework are removed the pruned tree is likely to produce watershoots - i.e. tall, upright branches, that produce no flowers or fruit. Minimise the risk of numerous watershoots by pruning no more than twenty per cent of the canopy in one year.
If watershoots arise, there is no need to remove all of them but they will need thinning out;
- Consider if any strong, well placed watershoots may be used for as replacement branches in the future and tip prune them by about a quarter to an outward facing bud to encourage branching
- If well placed and not causing congestion of the crown, leave some of the weaker (thinner and less upright) watershoots unpruned. They may produce fruit buds and act as secondary branches
- Remove any remaining water shoots if 23cm (9in) or more in length at the point of origin
- If you spot new watershoots, rub them off during the growing season as they appear