Step 1: You will need
- A pruning saw or loppers
- 'telescopic pruner' for high branches
Step 2: Remove 'suckers'
Use secateurs to cut back the 'suckers', which are the unwanted shoots that grow near the base of the trunk. Remove all of these shoots up to the base of the main canopy of the tree to encourage a good shape.
Step 3: Remove dead wood
Remove any dead, diseased or damaged wood which is flaking or discoloured. Remove the whole branch if it doesn't have any buds. If it does have buds towards the base of the branch, make a cut just above an outward facing bud. Angle each cut so rain can drain off the stem rather than sitting on top and rotting the plant.
Step 4: Remove crossing branches
To encourage your tree to grow in a vase shape, remove any branches that cross over. Vase shaped trees not only look more attractive, they help wind pass through the plant which prevents it catching airborne diseases. Branches that cross may also rub and become infected. Remove these branches at the base, and any other stems that grow inwards rather than outwards.
Step 5: Prune the remaining branches
Cut back the rest of the branches by about half their length, to encourage the stems to thicken and develop flowers the following season. Make each cut just above an outward facing bud to encourage a healthy shape.