Posted: 13/01/2012 at 13:08
It is a good idea to cut back the leader on fruit trees generally, to keep them to a managable height say 2.1 - 2.4mts (7-8 feet). This makes harvesting the fruits easier.It also promotes new side branches.
As you say it is very satisfying after pruning to stand back and look at a tree that has lost shape and become congested . There is the old adage that you first remove the dead, dying and diseased wood. Then have another look before maybe reducing the height and opening up the tree and thinning fruiting spurs.
The RHS book on fruit is a really good guide to pruning most types of fruit.