There are 3 different shapes that are mentioned when training fruit trees.
The vase shape and central leader are more commonly used. Below is a visualization of a fruit trees first few years of growth and pruning to accomplish the vase shape. Both thinning and heading cuts are used to accomplish this.
Thinning cuts are cuts made at the base of the branch you are pruning. Heading cuts are made at differing lengths of the branch. The purpose of thinning is to make the trees growth less compact and open up space for the inner branches to receive sunlight. The purpose of heading is to force growth from buds lower on the branch rather than letting it grow longer.
It is also helpful to understand the difference between leaf buds, flower buds, and spurs on our trees. Flower buds and spurs bear fruit and should not normally be removed, however…
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