So I was out in the sunshine this afternoon, pruning our two peach and two apple trees. I had thought Feb might be the time to do that, but with all this warmth, they were starting to leaf out already, so I figured it had to be now.
My first time to do it, so I had some trepidations, but I plunged ahead. After doing some reading, I made myself this list of instructions:
1) Cut off dead, damaged, diseased branches
2) Cut it back to no more than six scaffold branches radially out from trunk
3) Cut off suckers from the base and water sprouts (vertically growing branches)
4) Remove crossing branches (at the base)
5) Remove branches that grow inward or downward
6) Leave at least six inches of space all around any branch
7) Prune out whorls to just the largest and healthiest branch
8 ) Shorten all remaining branches by at least a third, cutting to just above an outward facing branch
I may work on it a little more, but approximately that's what I did.
I need to figure out how to weight some branches down, so they grow more horizontally.