Still learning to prune ...
I used to know a lot more about pruning than I do now, but I like to think that I'm starting to gain on it a little. This year what really sunk in for me (for pomes, at least) is the need to remove certain competing branches.
I've always had a hard time removing wood. The bigger the branch, the more difficult it is for me to remove it. So once a branch gets any size I'm inclined to leave it. Then I learned (from reading here, thank you all!) that leaders have to be allowed to dominate if they are ever going to support productive wood. Pretenders to the throne cannot be tolerated; this tree growing stuff is not about democracy.
Suddenly I found myself enthusiastically removing any branches that were more than 1/3 the size of the branch they emerged from.
Then I realized I don't want to necessarily remove the whole branch -if it's a spur-producing, well-placed, pencil-sized branch I can just cut it back hard to a bud and in a couple of years it'll be producing fruit again.
I think I'm starting to see both my pear and my apple more clearly now. I've quit being afraid of big cuts- amazing what a tree will come back from. And it's amazing what some of the new growth will do if competition is removed.
Anyhow, that's where I am now. This is a thank you note to those many here who have helped.