Peach tree training advice

foofghtFebruary 26, 2013

My year old August Pride peach tree has been growing well; however, I'd like to hear some suggestions as how others would go about training/pruning.

My intent is to keep it rather small, growing it no more than 6-8' high with about an 8' span. It also sits right next to a fence.

Having 3 - 4 scaffolds appears to be widely adopted, though most if not all of my scaffold candidates appear to be too vertical or horizontal.

Thoughts?

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foofght

here's another view with a few other branches. Once i choose my scaffolds, it sounds like I should be lobbing off the remainder and topping the tree, yeah?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:14PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

That is a pretty uniquely shaped tree. And there are many approaches that would work. In fact with a peach kept that size almost anything will work that will support the weight of a full crop.

If you want max peaches this year do nothing except thin the fruit enough that each branch can support what you leave. Think about the weight at harvest not when you thin. You could then prune after harvest.

At some point you will need to chose between A and what is now the trunk. A looks better shaped but the current trunk is bigger. Then remove or cut back those shoots headed towards the fence and those horizontal or below.

At that size if it gets good sun you could grow it in any form; open vase, central leader, or just a bush. But don't let it get so thick that the inside or lower branches shade out.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 3:37PM
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foofght

Yeah the tree is not as perfectly straight with perfect scaffold limbs like i see in all the pruning demos I've seen. But it is what it is and we'll make the best of it.

Why is "A" better shaped than the actual trunk? The actual drunk does start bending and leaning towards the top, but I"m guessing the tree can be straightened or if i don't pursue center leading, then it'll get lobbed off.

Would you say branches like "E" and "C" aren't good angles as main branches? They start off horizontal and bend up.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 5:53PM
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fireduck(10a)

some good advice from fruitman and others....keep in mind peaches bear on last year's wood. Unlike apples, pears, plums, etc...they do not form long-lived fruiting spurs.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 6:21PM
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GreenOrchardMom(Ga Mts 7)

I favor an open vase pruning style for my peaches
it allows light /air to penetrate the tree canopy
preventing disease & the dreaded evil brown rot.
but maybe you don't have that problem
where I live is very hot & sticky, where are you?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 10:25PM
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foofght

Southern California, inland. Weather is very mild here with little humidity. Do the scaffold branches in the vase configuration have an ideal angle? Would branches "e" and "c" in the images above not work?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 11:50PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

From what I can see,I'd cut off B,C,E,F and maybe some off the top of the main trunk.
Branch D is about the right angle to try and go with. Brady

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:25AM
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