We should always keep our trees in shape and sometimes it is necessary to remove longer and heavy branches. In this cases we should cut the tree branches in 2 steps that we will exemplify here.
In this case, we have a tree that was not pruned for years and something needs to be done. It is losing its vigor with so many overgrown and crossing branches. The lichen is a sign of a tree losing strength. The lichen itself does not damage the tree, but they are a sign that the tree needs attention.
To avoid the risk of damaging the main branch or the trunk by the weight of the second while cutting it, we will remove it in two steps.
First, do a cut at a distance from the main branch.
Then, finish the prune by doing a clean cut close to the main branch. As it is lighter, you can handle it easily and it will not fall causing the bark to tear down the main trunk.
And the result should be something like shown in the following picture. You can seal the cut with special cuttings paste but in recent years it has been advised against because it locks the humidity inside the wood causing more harm than benefit.
A clean cut will allow the tree to heal, growing new wood over the scar that will protect the tissues from fungi and diseases.
Winter pruning will reinvigorate the tree and longer shoots will grow in spring. To promote branching, these long branches should be reduced to a third of their size, so a new prune should be done in summer to accomplish it. This pruning will allow the tree to generate new ramifications and consequent flowering and fruit next year.