Open vase shape formative pruning
A vase shaped tree (open centre) tree will eventually have several main branches that will angle outward and upwards from the main trunk. Sometimes a young tree will be bought as a ‘whip’ i.e. a single non-branching stem, cut that back to between 60cm and 90cm long at planting (depending on how low to the ground you want your branches to develop) and wait until the following winter to start your formative training (the whip will send out several side shoots during the first growing season.
The following year choose 3 or 4 well-spaced (around the trunk) lateral branches and cut these back to about 25 cm – trim away any other growth. If your tree had good lateral branches when you planted it, then do exactly the same thing: choose the best 3 or 4 make sure they are well-spaced around the trunk and trim them back to 25cm. These will become the main scaffold of your tree. Now wait until next year to do your next formative pruning.