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rainbowgardener
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Peach trees, what to prune

So I was out pruning fruit trees today, but really not sure I know what I'm doing. I did a bit of pruning on the peach trees, getting rid of some of all the twiggy stuff, opening up the center a bit, cutting back the ends of some of the branches. I'm attaching some pictures. It is two trees, different varieties. They were planted at the same time (early in 2016), but one is more dwarf and considerably smaller. I'd be glad for suggestions of what else should come off. Thanks!!
peach tree smaller 1.jpg
peach tree smaller 2.jpg
peach tree larger 1.jpg
peach tree larger 2.jpg
peach tree larger 3.jpg
First two pictures are the smaller tree, from a couple different angles. Last three pictures are the larger tree. Incidentally, some of the branches on the larger one are like 12 feet tall. How much can I cut them back?


I also have two apple trees. One question about the apple tree. One of them has leaves opened up on the tips of the branches. (Tree only lost its leaves in Nov; who knew it would be leafing out again early in Jan?) But the branches are very tall/ long. Is it OK to cut them back, even though that would be cutting the new leaves off? There are lots of other leaf buds.

Thanks!!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Peach trees, what to prune

Anyone? Is JONA still around?

thanks
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

JONA
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Re: Peach trees, what to prune

Hi Rainbow,
You can cut any of those branches back on your peach quite safely.
They will sprout new shoots very quickly.
Once you are happy that there is plenty of space between branches and good sunlight penetration is ok, then I would not touch the tree until after flowering.
Once the fruit has started to swell slightly you can get a far better idea as to how much light and air can get through. Also by then the leaf will be fully out and it’s amazing then how much difference that makes to the trees density.
The shoots that the fruit sets on can be shortened back so that they are not then overcropping too.
Good luck for a New seasons crop!
John

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Gary350
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Re: Peach trees, what to prune

When I worked in the peach & apple orchard many years ago we were told to cut off all the vertical limbs they do not make fruit. You need the main tree body to grow straight up with several big horizontal limbs growing out like spokes of a wheel. New trees were left to grow with not much trimming for the first 5 years to allow trees to grow a large root system. After 5 years tree is cut back 50% so roots are 2 times larger than the tree. Very large roots make larger fruit, sun light makes ripe fruit. We trimmed off all limbs that were vertical on both sides of all limbs every winter. Biggest mistake most people make is not trimming the tree enough. Fertilize the tree once a week all summer. I use to fertilize my tree every Sunday after church. Fertilize according to the size of the tree with 15-15-15 and nitrogen. I would give tree your size about 1/4 cup of 15-15-15 and 1/4 cup nitrogen once a week then 5 gallons of water. Sprinkle fertilizer around the tree in a 4' circle. If you use Urea you must us calcium too. If you trim too much the tree will produce no fruit the following summer. Don't get in too big a hurry to trim too much until tree roots gets larger give roots a change to grow larger then you will have a fruit explosion. Cutting off all the vertical limbs also allows more sunlight to get in to ripen the fruit.

JONA
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Re: Peach trees, what to prune

Agree with you Gary about the upright branches.
This is my peach in the large glasshouse. I’ve spread it out like a canopy and found then that I can shorten all the side shoots to very few buds. This allows plenty of light to get at the fruit.
Has cropped heavily for many years now, giving over a thousand fruits a year.
DELICIOUS!









Image
John

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