Learning How To Prune Peach Trees successfully will help ensure that your investment and time is protected. Starting them out the right way will give you a leg up on natural fruit tree growing. Check out more Organic Fruit Growing tips on our blog.
learn how to prune peach trees
One of the most asked questions we get about growing fruit trees is how do I prune? And peach tree pruning seems to be the most mysterious to us Northerners.
Maybe it’s the fact that we rarely see peaches growing up north, but we all seem at a loss on how to get them to grow and produce well. And few books have true species specific information on what shape works well.
When Brian and I started growing peaches, this was our most pressing question.
If you’re just starting to consider growing peaches in a cold climate, check out our 4 Secrets to Growing Peaches in Cold Climates tutorial.
If you have a peach or are considering buying one, continue reading to see videos and information on best practices for How To Prune Peach Trees.
Pruning is painful...but important
It is painful to prune. You have to admit that first. Every time you remove a branch, you are removing potential fruit.
But, if you don’t prune, your fruit will be small. Your tree will be more likely to deal with disease. And you’re likely to see more breakage when your tree sets too much fruit.
Ok, these are all good reasons, but there is a more important one…
your peach tree's health
In the north, and especially in the northeast, stone fruits struggle the first 3 to 5 years against bacterial canker.
Pruning, at the right time, will help your tree maintain good health, focus on its roots, and grow a nice structure to give you peaches for years to come.
That’s what you want, right? Good!
timing your peach tree pruning
Many fruit trees are best pruned during the late winter. But not peaches.
Stone fruits that are pruned during cool and wet weather are more susceptible to canker. This disease will kill your tree more easily than any other disease. You can read more about this killing disease, which could be bacterial or fungal, in this paper from the University of Tennessee
Basically, the canker eats the cambium of the tree and slowly girdles it. Telltale signs of this disease are weeping from the bark or previously pruned areas. In our early years, we lost a bunch of trees to this disease and we know we’re not alone.
We have found that waiting until the hot, dry temps arrive to do our pruning has reduced our issues with canker. And building healthy soils and ecosystems are essential for healthy prunus trees.
Using sharp pruners helps make a nice, clean cut. , Brian likes the Felco loppers and hand pruners, as do most people who have tried them. Make sure you clean the blades with rubbing alcohol between trees to prevent any disease cross contamination.
You can use paint on the wounds or Wound Dressing to cover them up. It’s definitely worth taking the time to do this. Kind of like putting a bandage on our wounds. It keeps them clean and prevents infection. You know, an ounce of prevention…
video can be better than words
As there are with many things, there are a lot of opinions on how to prune peach trees.
We figure that the experts at NC State Extension office probably see more peach trees and peach pruning than all the northern extension offices combined. Their videos are incredibly informative and well done. We have taken this pruning approach with our peach trees and they have thrived!
So, here are the videos for you to peruse. If you have questions, visit our Facebook Page or our Facebook Group, Permaculture Orcharding and drop us a question!
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