How to trim a young peach tree


Pruning Peach Trees - Stark Bro's

Pruning is a very important part of proper peach tree care and maintenance; however, many people think the task overwhelming or too complicated. It doesn’t have to be! Keep these things in mind:

NOTE: This is part 8 in a series of 11 articles. For a complete background on how to grow peach trees, we recommend starting from the beginning.

Survival

When your peach tree is dug up from our fields to be shipped to you (and any time a tree is transplanted) the root ball loses many of its fine feeder roots. These hairlike, delicate roots are important to the process of absorbing moisture and nutrients in the soil. Pruning, in this instance, helps balance the top growth of your tree with the root system, giving the roots time to re-establish in your yard to support existing top growth and new growth.

When your bare-root peach tree arrives from Stark Bro’s, our professionals have already pre-pruned your tree for you. Because of this, you do not need to prune them again at planting time. The only pruning necessary at planting time would be to remove any broken or damaged branches and roots.

Plan to prune your peach trees every year during their dormant season. In Zone 6 and north, you should wait until late winter. A good reference book (we recommend Pruning Made Easy), is invaluable for providing additional visuals and in-depth answers to questions you may have about pruning.

Stimulation

In addition to the survival benefits, pruning a peach tree stimulates stronger, more vigorous growth from the remaining buds. After a single growing season, a peach tree you prune will be bigger, and have stronger branching than a similar unpruned tree.

Shape and Structure

Equally as important to the benefits above, your peach tree needs to be pruned to provide a strongly structured shape. The natural shape a peach tree takes on is not always the best for its maximum fruit production. Stark Bro’s peach trees are pruned in the nursery row for proper shaping to get you started, but corrective pruning must continue at home. Annual pruning is more critical for peaches (and nectarines) than for any other fruit tree type.

Always prune peach trees to an “Open Center” shape. An open-center structure keeps the tree’s canopy open to light, which is necessary for the development of good fruit and helps prevent brown rot, a notorious enemy of peach trees.

Pruning Tips

  • First dormant season (a year after you plant the tree): Remove the central leader and direct the tree growth toward three or four strong scaffolds. Choose branches that are evenly distributed around the trunk. Maintain about 6 inches of height between the scaffold branches, keeping the lowest branch at least 18 inches from the ground. Leave some small branches on the lower trunk to encourage trunk strength. Prune back scaffold branches to one-third of their length.
  • Second dormant season: Prune away fast-growing new shoots but leave twig growth, which will be the fruit-bearing wood (on most peach trees). Choose and encourage additional scaffolds, if needed.
  • Third dormant season: Prune off any broken limbs or crossing branches, but don’t do any more major pruning until the tree has produced a good-sized crop.
  • Mature-tree pruning: Once the basic shape of your peach tree has been established, make your pruning decisions in line with which branches are bearing fruit. Most trees produce fruit on the previous year’s long stems and on short branches (spurs), each of which will bear fruit for several years. Each year, cut out a portion of the older fruiting wood to keep rejuvenating the tree. Prune back each of last year’s stems to half its length.

Pruning angles

Narrow, V-shape crotch angles in the limbs are an open invitation to disastrous splitting later on, particularly when your peach tree is supporting a large fruit crop. For your tree’s branches, choose wide 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock angles.

Pruning to a bud

Make sharp, clean cuts close enough (about ¼-inch away from the next outward-pointing bud) so you won’t leave a clumsy stub that’s hard to heal over. Stay far enough above the bud so it won’t die back. Slant the cuts and the new growth will develop beautifully.

Every branch has buds pointed in various directions. Because you want vigorous new growth to spread out and away from the center of the tree, make your cut above a bud that’s aimed outward. These are usually located on the underside of the branch. This helps your peach tree take on a more spreading shape, keeping it open to light and air circulation.

Pruning Whips (Unbranched Trees)

Unbranched peach trees are ideal if you want more control over which branches are allowed to develop — as you might in certain artful pruning styles like espalier. Prune whips back to 28- to 36-inches above the ground at planting time. After the new branches have grown 3- to 5-inches in length, select a shoot to become the leader and the rest become the tree’s scaffold limbs.

Off-season Pruning

Sometimes pruning needs to be done even when the season isn’t ideal. If a branch is broken by the wind or by a heavy load of fruit, emergency treatment is necessary. When taking action due to injury, prune to clean up any ragged edges; making a flush cut that leaves no stub.

It does not benefit the peach tree to wait until dormancy to prune damaged, dead, or diseased limbs or to remove unwanted growth like suckers and watersprouts. These should all be completely removed as soon as you see them.

Fruit-Thinning

There are several good reasons to thin fruit:

  • To reduce limb breakage
  • Increase the size of the remaining fruit
  • Improve fruit color and quality
  • Stimulate floral initiation for next year’s crop

Home gardeners can effectively thin peach trees by hand. During May and June (in most areas, many peach trees will start to drop or abort underripe fruit. This is a natural process that allows the tree to mature the remaining crop load. If not corrected through thinning, peach trees may bear biennially (fruits only every other year) or bear heavily one year, then bear a comparatively light crop the next year. Thinning may seem counterproductive in theory, but it really is a benefit to your peach harvest in the long run.

The best time to thin peach trees is within 20 to 40 days of full bloom. Thin so that each remaining peach is spaced 6 to 8 inches apart on the branch. In clusters, leave the king bloom (the center bloom in the cluster of five flowers) as it will develop into the largest fruit. On spur-type peach varieties, many fruit spurs grow along a branch and will need to be thinned out to encourage bigger and better fruit on what remains. All of these tasks promote the improved bearing and fruit quality of your peach tree — you’ll be pleased with the results!

How to Prune Peach Trees

By

Marie Iannotti

Marie Iannotti

Marie Iannotti is a life-long gardener and a veteran Master Gardener with nearly three decades of experience. She's also an author of three gardening books, a plant photographer, public speaker, and a former Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator. Marie's garden writing has been featured in newspapers and magazines nationwide and she has been interviewed for Martha Stewart Radio, National Public Radio, and numerous articles.

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process

Updated on 06/09/22

The Spruce / Steven Merkel

In This Article

  • When to Prune Peach Trees

  • Before Getting Started

Project Overview

Peach trees are one of the least demanding fruit trees you can grow. Like many fruit trees, peach trees are susceptible to some diseases and pests, but peaches ripen so early in the season that these problems don't usually affect the harvest. And harvesting is usually fairly simple, thanks to the many dwarf varieties that remain just 4 to 6 feet in height. However, the one maintenance task that shouldn't be overlooked is pruning. Your peach trees will be healthier, more productive, and easier to work with if you set up an annual pruning routine.

How to Grow Peaches From Seed

Click Play to Learn How to Prune Peach Trees

When to Prune Peach Trees


While many fruiting plants are best pruned when they are dormant, this is not the case with peach trees. Pruning them when the weather is still cold makes them susceptible to dieback and causes them to be less cold-hardy overall. Ideally, you should prune peach trees annually in spring, just as the buds swell and begin to turn pink. It's better to prune a little too late than too early. However, you can remove shoots developing in the center of the tree at any time since these will block sun and air from getting to the fruits. Plus, taking them out during the summer usually means less to remove the next spring.

Major pruning of a peach tree should begin when the tree is at least three years old and has matured enough to produce a good fruit crop. Before this, pruning efforts should be limited to establishing the basic shape of the tree.

Before Getting Started

Rather than pruning to emphasize a central trunk, as is done with other fruit trees, peach trees are best pruned into an open "V" or vase shape, with three to five well-spaced main branches forming the vase. These main "scaffold "branches should be at roughly 45-degree angles to the trunk, leaving the center open to sun and air.

Peach trees produce fruit on one-year-old wood, so a mature tree can be pruned rather extensively. Remove around 40 percent of the tree each year to encourage new growth after pruning, so there will be fruiting branches every year. In general, remove old gray shoots because these will not fruit. But leave the one-year-old shoots, which will be reddish in appearance.

Equipment / Tools

  • Bypass shears
  • Long-handled pruners
  • Pruning saw (optional)
  • Stepladder (if needed)
  • Thick gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt

Materials

  • Refuse bags

The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  1. Remove Dead, Damaged, and Diseased Branches

    Use long-handled pruners or a pruning saw to remove all branches in poor condition. Such branches should be removed whenever you see them. This is true of all trees but especially for trees that bear fruit on new wood, such as peach trees.

    Cut removed branches into manageable pieces and bag them or bundle them for disposal

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  2. Choose Main Branches, Remove the Others

    In the early years of the tree's life, select three to five main upward-growing "scaffold" branches along the outside of the tree. Then, remove any competing large branches using a pruner or pruning saw. Pay special attention to removing branches in the center of the tree and those growing downward or horizontal. The goal is to create a tree that has a V- or vase-shaped profile with an open center.

    Most growers recommend that the first of these scaffold branches be no closer than 18 inches from the ground. The main branches should be spaced evenly around the trunk, with a vertical offset of about 6 inches between adjacent branches. Ideally, all scaffold branches should emerge from the trunk between 18 and 36 inches from the ground. This creates a compact tree that will be easy to harvest without a tall ladder.

    Tip

    Try to prune in a way that eliminates narrow, V-shaped crotches, which are weak and will become prone to splitting when the branches are supporting a heavy fruit crop. Crotches 45 degrees or wider will be less susceptible to splitting.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  3. Trim Tall Branches

    Use a pruner to trim the ends of any tall branches, The goal here is to keep the tree at a harvestable height. If you prune without a ladder, this will mean cutting the branches to a height that you can reach from the ground.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  4. Remove Spindly Interior Branches

    Prune any small, spindly branches growing from the main scaffold branches inward. Make sure to remove any shoots that point straight up or down, as they won't allow the peach tree to properly grow into the desired V shape.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  5. Cut Back Remaining Red Shoots

    Use pruners to cut back the new red shoots to a length of around 18 inches. Make the cuts to within 1/4 inch of an outward-facing bud. These are fruit-producing shoots, and you want to keep them close to the main branches so the fruit will be adequately supported and easy to harvest.

    Also, prune off the suckers at the base of the tree. You can pull them off with your hand if they are small enough; they will be less likely to regrow if they are pulled instead of cut.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

  6. Plan for Future Growth

    If there is no new growth within reach on a tall branch, remove the entire branch. These are not likely to be productive, and removing them ensures the tree will put its energy into plenty of new productive growth.

    And if the tree doesn't have enough upward-curving main branches, find a secondary branch that has new upward-curving growth, and cut back to that new growth. This will become one of the main branches for future seasons.

    Tip

    Peach trees are not long-lived. So planting a new tree every five to six years will ensure you are never without a peach tree.

    The Spruce / Steven Merkel

    How to Grow and Care for Peach Trees

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Training and Pruning Stone Fruit. University of Maryland Extension

How to cut a peach correctly - Flowers.ua

It is difficult to meet a person who would not like juicy peach fruits. But in order to grow them, gardeners will need to make a lot of effort. The peach tree is a rather demanding crop that needs careful and regular care. And pruning is one of the primary procedures, without which you are unlikely to get a well-bearing tree. Even novice flower growers can grow a peach, but if you have any questions, you can always consult with our experts day and night. Also pay attention to bouquets with delivery. Sending flowers in Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine daily

Why pruning is necessary

Peach pruning is necessary for the plant to grow for a long time and bring many juicy and tasty fruits. We all know that representatives of the flora get moisture and nutrients from the soil. Through the roots they pass along the trunk and reach the branches. And if, for example, the cultivation of kiwi is characterized by a stable pace, then in peaches this whole process occurs much faster. In addition, the culture distributes the lion's share of macro- and microelements into vertically growing branches. Because of this, the crown of the tree very quickly becomes thick and lush, but at the same time, the central branches remain deprived of a sufficient amount of sunlight, become bald and not fruitful. And the fruits of the side branches will be too small to call the future harvest rich. Thus, all improperly growing branches must be cut off in time. A well-formed canopy also promotes better “ventilation” of the leaves and makes harvesting a simple and hassle-free process. Well, finally, a neatly cut peach crown looks much more attractive than branches sticking out in different directions. Such a peach tree will become a real gem of your garden.

Peach pruning in spring

Peach pruning in the first warm days of the year is carried out in order to properly form the crown. For all varieties of peach, some “forks” on the branches are very characteristic. But, as a rule, they are quite weak and easily break from sudden gusts of wind. During the winter cold, frost often forms on such branches, which only exacerbates the situation. That is why timely spring pruning is so necessary. And you need to carry it out as soon as you see the first buds on the peach, but always before flowering begins. Focus around the third week of March - mid-April.

It is important that this culture is quite sensitive and shows sharp reactions to any interference in its life. So pruning must be done exclusively with a sharp knife or secateurs. It is also recommended to pre-treat the blades with an antiseptic. When working, try to trim a particular branch in one motion. If the cut radius has a size of more than two centimeters, it is desirable to process it.

As mentioned above, it is in the spring that the crown of the tree is formed. Previously, most gardeners believed that a cup-shaped crown was best suited for peach. However, over the years of practice, growers have realized that this is not entirely true. A spreading cup-shaped crown can only be found in those trees that grow in large areas. The fact is that this form of peach crown takes up too much space, reducing the total number of fruit trees in the garden. The most optimal crown shape is pyramidal.

Spring peach pruning scheme is as follows:

  • leave four frame branches as the basis, the first tier;
  • the next tier must consist of five branches;
  • trim the branches of the first and second tiers by about one third;
  • as you grow, keep doing this so that by the fifth year of life the height of peach
  • trees did not exceed three meters;
  • all weak, diseased and overgrown branches must also be pruned.

The advantage of spring pruning is that as the buds swell, you can immediately see which of the branches will eventually become the most productive. It is to such branches that you provide the most thorough care. The rest can even be removed altogether.

Summer peach pruning

Many gardeners don't use summer peach pruning as much as spring pruning. But it also has its undoubted advantages and goals. Pruning is necessary at the beginning of summer, preferably from the second half of June until the 15th of July. It is during this period of time that the fruits form bones.

Summer peach pruning includes the following steps:

  • First you need to remove dry and weakened branches. They only pull moisture and nutrients from the peach tree, and also spoil the appearance;
  • branches that have ceased to bear fruit can be removed selectively. However, do not get too carried away, because such branches, although they do not bear fruit, are rich in greenery, which releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Foliage also plays an important role during the growing season;
  • all shoots that grow deep into the crown also need to be cut. Thanks to this, the tree will be able to receive more sunlight, due to which the fruits will be more ruddy and sweet;
  • note the fruitful branches. If the fruits grow too thick on them, then it is better to trim them a little as well. Heavy peaches can break a branch, which then has to be treated, and you won’t have to count on fruiting the next year.

Summer peach pruning can be called preventive and shaping. You can do without it, but still it is better not to neglect it. Do everything according to the rules, and juicy, large peaches are provided to you.

Peach pruning in autumn

Peach pruning in autumn is nothing more than preparing a peach tree for the coming winter. As you know, this culture grows mainly in the southern regions of Ukraine, where winters can be called relatively mild. But still the peach is very thermophilic. And the cultivation of peach, like the cultivation of pineapple, is unthinkable without preparation for frost.

So, the scheme of preparing a peach tree for winter is as follows:

  • all fruit-bearing branches without exception must be shortened;
  • the number of remaining branches must be no more than eighty;
  • Is the winter expected to be snowy? Cut off all weakened branches so that they do not break under the thickness of precipitation;
  • Any diseased branches must be cut back to the base, otherwise
  • infection can reach both the trunk and healthy branches;
  • cut branches are best burned.

Autumn pruning should begin after the harvest, which will be around mid-October. It is during this period of the year that the active growth and development of the peach ends, and the tree painlessly endures all the procedures carried out by gardeners.

Peach pruning schemes

There are several schemes for peach tree pruning. These schemes are divided into categories, depending on the reception, the age of the plant and some other features.

Pruning for a ring

Pruning for a ring is carried out in order to rejuvenate and restore a peach after an illness. Under the ring - this means under the very foundation. At the base of the tree trunk there is an annular outgrowth, which is responsible for active cell division. Thus, pruning according to this scheme allows the tree to quickly and actively regenerate

Cutting pattern for the ring:

  1. Treat the ring-shaped growth itself and your tool (hacksaw, secateurs) with an antiseptic solution.
  2. Leave 0.5 cm above the branch line. Put a mark on this place.
  3. Make a shallow cut just below the mark.
  4. Cut the entire branch 30 centimeters above the mark. Cut the branch carefully so that it does not break off abruptly and drag part of the healthy tree bark down with it.
  5. Next, cut it exactly to the mark.
  6. Apply a special healing mixture to the cut, which is available at any gardening store.

It is impossible to prune clearly along the annular growth, as it is possible to break the educational tissue in the trunk and roots, which will lead to the death of the plant.

Bud pruning

Bud pruning can not only form a beautiful crown, but also prevent it from growing too much. It is carried out by partial removal of the branch, based on the number of buds that must be left. The disadvantages of this method are that it is quite traumatic for the peach and the cuts heal for a long time.

Pruning pattern for a bud:

  1. Clean with alcohol the area of ​​the branch where you are going to cut, as well as the garden tool itself.
  2. Find out for yourself exactly how many kidneys should remain and measure 0.5 centimeters upwards from the topmost one. Put a label.
  3. Thirty centimeters up from this mark, cut the branch completely.
  4. You can now cut where the mark is.
  5. Apply healing solution to the cut.

If you want to make the crown not so dense, but lush, then trim to the outer bud (which grows outward, not deep into the crown). And if you want the branches not to be very lowered to the ground, do pruning, on the contrary, on the inner kidney.

Replacement knot pruning

Replacement knot pruning allows you to form a beautiful and healthy crown, as well as to ensure that the same branches bear fruit year after year, which will grow in the places the grower wishes. This can be done by cutting off excess shoots on the frame branch.

Substitute pruning pattern:

  1. Cut the branch using the bud method and leave two eyes.
  2. In a year, when two shoots grow from these eyes, pinch only the lower one - it will be the replacement knot.
  3. And cut off the top shoot to two eyes - it will turn into a fruitful branch.

Replacement pruning must be done every year. By the way, grapes are cut in exactly the same way.

Kerbovka

This technique allows you to activate dormant buds or, on the contrary, slow down their development. Kerbovka is easy to make - you just need to cut a small part of the bark above or below the kidney. This technique is quite humane and will not stress the plant. Kerbovka must be carried out in early spring, so that the kidneys do not have time to wake up.

Kerbing Chart:

  1. Find the bud that needs to be worked on.
  2. If you need to "stir up" it, make an incision above it, and if you "lull it" - then below it.
  3. In any case, the distance between the kidney and the incision should not be more than 3 mm.
  4. The incision itself should be relatively deep, and not just on the bark. Make it in the form of a strip, a semicircle or a cross. The thicker the branch, the more elongated the incision.

Pruning at planting

If the peach seedling is very young, up to a year old, it is better not to cut at planting. The young tree is still too fragile to endure such intrusions into its life. Let the peach first get used to the new habitat, otherwise there is a risk that the tree will die after pruning. That is why experienced gardeners say that pruning should be done only when the peach tree is a year old after planting. So, if planted in the fall, you can cut it in the spring of next year. Use the pinching method - it is the least traumatic. Leave a pair of buds on each upper branch, and carefully cut off the top.

Pruning in the first year of life

Pruning in the first year of life will give you the opportunity to form a beautiful crown exactly the shape you want. The most common and convenient form for harvesting the future crop is bowl-shaped. If you do not want to engage in laborious peach pruning in the first year of life, you can purchase a tree immediately with a formed crown.

Peach pruning technique in the first year of life in case of choosing a cupped crown:

  1. If you notice that the seedling has grown too quickly, it should be shortened to 50-60 centimeters.
  2. The total number of tiers should be three or four, and the same number of frame branches on each.
  3. Cut them to the outer buds.
  4. If there are heavily lowered branches, they can be tied to the top ones.
  5. Pinching off the green shoots on the skeletal branches throughout the summer.
  6. In autumn, also cut back to the same level as for summer pruning.

Second year pruning

In the second year of life, the peach will begin its active growth, and it will need to be pruned regularly throughout the summer. And in autumn and spring, just try to maintain the initially selected height level, cutting off only the very top. You also need to remove side shoots and see which buds you want to keep. Follow exactly the same pattern if your peach tree is three or four years old.

Pruning in the fifth year of life

A five-year-old peach tree is already a fairly mature plant, however, it needs regular rejuvenation. Every year, cut off the top shoots from the tree that have grown longer than ten centimeters, and the new shoots that have grown on the frame branches - they will become fruit-bearing competitors. Pruning in the fifth year of life will help make this fruit tree longer.

Peach care after pruning

The peach tree needs careful care after pruning. All cuts need to be well processed. Most gardeners prefer to use not the well-known garden variety, but oil paint as a treatment solution. The fact is that the var can let in moisture, which can cause rotting. But oil paint is an excellent sealant. Before processing the sections, it is advisable to apply a disinfectant solution to them. For example, copper sulfate. Give it a few minutes to dry before moving on to the next step.

Helpful tips

  1. When pruning, keep in mind that all productive branches grow at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. This will help you at work.
  2. When pruning peach branches, leave at least two buds on each.
  3. If you want to rejuvenate a peach and return it to a high yield, cut absolutely all branches that are more than four years old.
  4. After planting a peach tree, leave only the four lower shoots on it, and cut off the rest. It is from these four that the future crown will be formed.
  5. If you want to cup the crown shape, don't skip the spring pruning.

Proper peach pruning and tree care after it is a rather time-consuming and responsible task. However, your diligence and diligence will be encouraged by a rich harvest and longevity of a fruit-bearing tree.

Why is peach pruning necessary? How to prune peach in spring. Photo — Botanichka

It is a well-known fact that peach needs annual pruning. However, novice gardeners do not quite understand the rules of this agricultural practice. Unsure of their knowledge, pruning amateurs are afraid to cut off too much, preferring to leave more branches. But it is precisely with this culture that this is unacceptable. How to form a productive tree? When to prune peach in spring? What are green operations? How to extend the life and preserve the fruiting potential of a peach orchard? We will talk about this in the article.

Peach tree with fruits. © Damaris

Formation of peach - "bowl"

Despite the fact that the peach has long ceased to be a purely southern crop, the largest percentage of its cultivation still falls on the warmest climatic zones. And, in this regard, among the variety of ways to form its crown, the palm belongs to the "bowl", sometimes it is called a "vase" or "improved bowl".

The difference lies in the fact that a simple "bowl" has 3-4 well-developed skeletal branches emanating from almost one point, and an "improved bowl" has the same number of branches, but with an indent of 15-20 cm from each other, which makes the skeleton of the peach tree stronger and provides better ventilation and illumination of the crown.

Pruning of a young peach seedling

The formation of a cupped peach crown is started either immediately after planting the seedling, pinching the stem at a height of 60-70 cm, or from the 2nd year, when the first skeletal branches are left on the tree at a distance of 40-50 cm from the surface earth.

Selected shoots are shortened by several buds (35-45 cm) in such a way that the outer one is directed outward, and preferably for all branches in the same direction. All excess is cut into a ring. The central conductor of the peach is cut over the upper skeletal branch. In this case, all the left shoots should be directed in different directions so as not to overlap each other.

In the third year, two branches of the second order are left on each skeletal branch of the first order, preferably with a step of 30-40 cm from each other. One of them should be directed to the right, the other to the left, and again, in order to avoid the closure of the main branches, it is desirable that their direction scheme be the same.

The main task of the first peach cuts is to form a strong tree frame.

Pruning a young peach: before and after. © skelbiu

Pruning a mature peach

Pruning an adult, already formed peach tree, goes in several directions.

First of all, it is sanitary pruning. Removal of diseased, broken, dried branches, twins, wen, shoots directed to the ground and inside the "bowl".

Peach does not like thickening, but responds well to airing the crown and heating the skeletal branches. For this reason, they cut it, opening it to the sides, not sparing it when cutting.

Secondly, normalizing cropping. The most incomprehensible (and therefore painful) for those who are not familiar with the peculiarities of this culture.

Peach intensively forms not only new shoots, but also lays flower buds. More than 1000 fruits can be tied on one adult tree! However, in the process of ripening a too abundant crop, and this crop does not shed the excess ovary, the tree becomes very depleted, does not have time to prepare for winter, becomes more prone to diseases and can often die, and if it survives, it significantly loses its fruiting potential.

Peach after pruning. © viper44m_oy

Therefore, when normalizing peach pruning, thin small branches are shortened, leaving only 1-2 flower buds, and on well-developed (pencil diameter) - 6-8 buds. At the same time, not a flower, but a growth bud, from which a fresh growth will form over the summer, should serve as a guide for the place where the shoot is pruned. And again, it is good that this bud goes in the direction to the right or left, but not up, and in the long term - does not lead to closure with neighboring shoots.

In addition, since the peach tends to bring the crop to the periphery of the crown over the years, which is not only inconvenient in terms of harvesting, but also leads to crushing of the fruit, deterioration in their quality and rapid aging of the tree, during the period of spring pruning, the crown is formed and in height , removing the upper part of the skeletal branches and bringing the crop to a lower level. Leaving the maximum height of the "bowl" within 2.5-3 m. should have the same height as possible - the edge of the "bowl" should be aligned, not have the so-called "roosters". Otherwise, the branch that remains above the others will receive a greater influx of nutrients and will begin to compete more actively in development in relation to the rest.

When to prune a peach?

Spring peach pruning starts quite late, when everything in the garden is already cut. A sign that it's time to prune is the ability to clearly define the flower buds or rosebud. Usually this period occurs at stable positive temperatures in the region of +5 ° C and falls on April.

At the same time, sometimes it is better to be a little late with pruning (but not too late, you need to finish it before the end of flowering) than to hurry, the peach is not afraid of this.

This feature is connected with the fact that the flowering of this crop has a rather extended period, from 10 to 25 days (depending on the variety), and on one branch it can simultaneously have both buds ready for blooming and fully opened flowers, and ovary. It is important! Because swollen peach flower buds tolerate frosts down to -23°C. Flower in bloom - up to -4 ° C. The ovary dies at -2°C. Thus, if the pruning is carried out too early, the buds remaining on the shoots will bloom more amicably and, if they fall under the return spring frosts, have a chance to die together as well. Moreover, the ovary. Late peach pruning somewhat delays the completion of flowering and allows you to play it safe from a complete loss of the crop.

In addition, in the rosebud phase, it is already quite clear where the buds are located, capable of producing side shoots. This allows you to correctly form replacement shoots, on which the tree will yield next year.

It is better to start pruning peach in calm sunny weather. The file and secateurs must be disinfected before use to avoid infection of the cuts. After pruning, treat large wounds with garden pitch.

Peculiarities of summer peach pruning

In fact, summer peach pruning is called "green operations", and is carried out not only in summer, but in several stages, at least three times: in May, early July and later, in August.

During this period, all green shoots that have grown inside the crown, wen, forked branches are removed. This makes it possible to provide light access to the skeletal branches, improve the ventilation of the peach crown, save the tree's strength for the development of unnecessary branches, strengthen the laying of fruit buds for the next year's harvest, and accelerate the ripening of fruits and wood. And also, which is not unimportant, to reduce the amount of spring work.

At the same time, young seedlings are not cut in summer. From the second year until the beginning of the fruiting age, they are only slightly formed. But adult plants unload 40-50% of the total mass of annual growth.

In addition, green operations include the re-rationing of crops. Experienced gardeners at the first green formation thin out the peach ovary, leaving the fruits at a distance of 12-15 cm from each other. This increases their weight and taste. And a little later, during the filling period, cutting green shoots over the last fruit, they redirect the flow of nutrients, accelerating the ripening of fruits and wood.

Peach after rejuvenating pruning. © Andrea Pavanello

Rejuvenating peach pruning

There is an opinion that the peach is a short lived breed. However, with proper care, it is able to intensively bear fruit up to 20 years, and under particularly favorable conditions - even more.


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