If I may just come back to the point about ring barking, I did stress that the whole trunk should not have its bark ringed. I did say that only 80 per cent should be removed.
This is in accordance with RHS advice in one of their own publications and I should like to quote from a chapter devoted to the renovation of negected fruit trees. It says:
Bar-ringing: With a sharp knife, remove almost a complete circle of bark but leave one inch of the ring uncut..... Bark-ringing temporarily interrupts the passage of foodstuffs to the roots and encourages a better crop of fruit."
I have done this in the past with no ill effects to the tree. You will see that I leave a larger amount of bark uncut as I find it works just as well and has less risk of infection entering the wood.