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In the old days, this was common practice. Although this was once thought to be good, you should never do this to a tree. Studies have shown that the tree will keep humidity at the cut site and may lead to rot. So the answer is NEVER!
Cutting the crown will create stress for the tree. To defend itself against this attack, it will grown new stems (many small branches) to protect itself. Unfortunately, they won’t be well anchored because they’ll be in a section of the tree where it won’t have properly healed which could possibly lead to rot as well.
Many factors are in play, the space the tree has to grow, the earth covering and more. Usually, a good rule of thumb is every two to five years.
As a general rule, we can prune trees year round. On the other hand, fruit trees should mostly be pruned in their dormant stage, meaning before the tree begins budding or late in the season before frost hits. If the fruit isn’t of concern, then any time is a good time!