We’ve got a bunch of old fruit trees rife with disease and deadwood that needed pruning out.
With pruning, you have to be able to look into the future and imagine how the tree will grow. A heading cut in winter time will take out the apical dominance (hormones encourage a bud to just keep on growing in one direction) of the topmost bud and send out shoots lower down the stem come spring, creating ”bushiness”. The same cut in summer is more likely to hinder vegetative growth in favour of fruit bud development. If the tree is asymmetrical, is too dense in the canopy, or has too much unproductive old wood, you need to be using different cuts to try to establish balance to the tree, while maintaining airflow and light penetration to aid fruit maturation.
In this case, the tree was so badly damaged that it might not recover, but as it’s still producing fruit and we don’t have an over abundance of fruit just yet, I’m going to try to keep it going.