The reduction of flower buds or young fruits on top fruit in order to improve fruit quality and size, to prevent branch breakage, or to influence the cropping pattern of the tree. Blossoms can be pinched out individually, or cut out with scissors as alternate clusters. Fruitlets can be twisted off to leave a single fruitlet every 5-8cm (2-3in). Blemished or ‘king’ (i.e. central) fruitlets should be removed first. Trees prone to biennial bearing (i.e. a pattern of following a good crop one year with a poor crop the next on a two-year cycle) can be made more regular in their cropping habits by blossom and/or fruit thinning.