Help with Pruning my Peach Tree?

doi4100March 22, 2013

Hi All,

I have a dwarf contender peach tree that I planted last spring. It did quite well last year, but I know I need to prune it. I know the low branch will need to come off, but how close to the trunk should I cut it? I am going to shape it like a goblet to let the sun inside too.

How low should I cut the center trunk (does it have a real name?)

This picture was taken yesterday, we've been getting a lot of late cold weather. Is it okay to prune it now, or should I wait? Thanks!


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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Cut the low branch so as to leave the collar area if it has one near the base.

Then cut the central leader back to leave 3-4 main scaffolds that will form the vase shape. It's a little hard to get depth on the photo. But I'd be taking off the top and those three shoots right and 4 left. Now if you want a taller tree you could cut off the lower branches and make the same shape tree out of those 7 higher shoots.

I'd also cut about a third off the ends of the main scaffolds. This is to increase branching and to stiffen the scaffolds so they'll hold up fruit next year.

That would be my approach. Harvestman can now tell you the right way ;-)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 2:21PM
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Thanks! I appreciate the response and the help!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:57PM
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I agree with F...cutting the right low branch back right next to the main leader (never leaving "stumps" to die back and rot). That branch must go now. Peach bear/flower on last years growth. It is hard to get a read on the actual size of this tree because there is nothing to relate to in the photo. I tend to try and at least taste a fruit asap...which means allowing one or two to develop. It may slow down the trees growth a bit...but it is not a huge deal. Doing the thinning cuts up higher is a good idea too (as F said) but not a must like the right low branch.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:14PM
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It was difficult for me, but the lower right branch is now gone. I'm not used to pruning fruit trees, so I kinda felt like I was doing something bad, even though I know it wasn't. I was actually quite sure it had to go, but wanted to hear from someone with experience before I did it. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:22PM
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My take on the high low choise from fruitnut is this. Do you want to stand on the mower seat to pick a peach, or stop the mower to go back and pick up your hat when you get close to the tree.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 4:43PM
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