A warm afternoon in late January prompts me to get a ladder
and croppers to give my two apples a winter prune. Working with the weather is a good trick if you can. I remember a man, who, when painting outdoors would first find a comfortable place out of the wind and only then look to see what was in front of him to paint! A similar sort of thing happened with my afternoon and pruning was definately the thing in front of me.
I go over these trees every year to keep them open and easy to access the fruit for picking as well thining and shaping. I inherited the trees and have not identified the varieties, they keep extremely well if picked carefuly giving us apples round till march, well worth a bit of effort in January to keep them in shape.