1 Remove any suckers, the straight stems that sprout from the root stock close to the tree's trunk. Suckers should be lopped at ground level.

2 Initially, pruning a fruit tree is intimidating. Once you've done it a few times, the fear subsides.

3 During your pruning efforts, never remove more than about a quarter of the tree. Finish the task the following year if more pruning is needed.

4 Scaffolding branches should be evenly spaced along the trunk. The higher branches ought to be shorter, so the tree has an overall shape of a triangle.