How to prune a weeping peach tree

Pruning Peach Tree - Learn the best time to prune a peach tree

Peach trees need pruning annually to promote yields and general tree vigor. Foregoing the peach tree will not do the gardener any favors in the long run. When is the best time to prune back a peach tree? The article below provides information on how and when to prune a peach tree along with other useful information about pruning a peach tree.

Pruning over peach tree

The performance of peach trees is dependent on annual pruning combined with adequate fertilization, watering and pest control. If left untreated, peach trees remain prone to increased disease, shorter life, and overproduction, resulting in smaller fruits.

There are several reasons for pruning a peach tree. Pruning creates a strong framework that can support large yields. It also helps balance fruit production and vegetative growth. Pruning is used to control the height and spread of a tree, which makes harvesting easier.

The peach tree pruning is used to remove diseased or broken branches, water sprouts and suction cups, and to open the canopy to allow better light and air to penetrate. Lastly, the pruning is fertilized before flowering to reduce the amount of fruit that needs to be thinned out by hand.

When to prune peach trees

The best time to prune a peach tree is in early spring, before the sap starts to run. Pruning in the spring will reduce the likelihood of pest infestation. Spring pruning is also easier because without foliage it is easier to see the shape of the tree. Avoid pruning in winter as this can reduce the tree's resistance to cold.

How to prune a peach tree

Peaches bear fruit and bloom on the second year wood, so they need to grow well in spring and summer to ensure a bountiful harvest for the following year. If the trees are not pruned, the amount of fruit wood will be reduced each year and the fruit shoots will become more and more out of reach as the tree grows.

The goal in pruning peach trees is to remove old, slow-growing, non-fertile shoots, leaving behind annual, 18- to 24-inch, red shoots. About 40% of the tree should be pruned annually.

The first step is to remove all of the rhizome suckers, hanger shoots, and water sprouts from the bottom three feet of the tree. Also remove any gray, non-fruity shoots, but leave the reddish 1-year-old shoots. Cutting out dead, diseased or otherwise damaged branches.

Now step back and take a good look at the tree. Take into account the desired end result. Peach trees are cut into a V or vase shape with 3-5 main branches forming the vase. These main branches should be spaced as evenly as possible and sloping outward and upward at a 45 degree angle. The aim is to keep the center open to air and sunlight.

Maintain the height of the tree by propping up any branches at a height that you can easily reach. This will help you access the tree for maintenance and harvest.

Select the 3-5 main branches that you want to keep and remove any other large branches. When deciding on the ones to keep and remove, consider removing limbs that grow inward, or downward, or horizontally. Remove other shoots or pencil-sized branches that grow towards the tree or up or down. With an outward-facing bud, cut the remaining red fruit pods to about 18 to 24 inches.

That should do it. Your peach tree is now ready to provide you with peaches and other seasonal delights.