Is it time to prune a peach tree in 6a zone?

Jerry71(6a)March 1, 2011

We still have a lot of snow on ground but I don�t want to mess up with pruning and spraying this year. Can somebody help me and tell me how much and where to prune? I know that all branches that cross each other should be pruned but how much and what else? I will post pictures on my blog.

Last year I couldn�t spray because if it wasn�t windy it was raining. Still, I had an excellent crop despite leaf curl. I need help with downsizing that tree!

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persimmonbob(6b)

I would not prune your peaches yet till after bloom. The reason is that when you have a late freeze you might still get some fruit when your kingbloom is frozen-out.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:29PM
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Jerry71(6a)

Thanks, persimmonbob. So I will just spray for now, right?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:37PM
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iammarcus(6)

If your planning on a dormant oil spray three university horticulture programs state that too often people use the oil too early in the season, before the insects are active. They said you cannot smother an insect that's not breathing. They said horticulture oil/dormant oil has no residual effect and the insect must be present at the time the spraying takes place for effective contact to occur. Also said not to use oil within 30 days of sulfur compounds, plant toxicity will be lethal. Some Copper compounds include sulfur.
Dan

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 2:32AM
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Jerry71(6a)

Interesting, iamarcus. I am confused now. I was talking to horticulturalist where I bought my peach and she said that they spray all their peaches and other pit fruit trees (100s of them) every spring with a mix of copper sulfite and horticultural oil together in the same tank at very high pressure. I guess I will have to read up on it a bit more.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 7:53AM
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persimmonbob(6b)

I do not spray till you see a couple of buds ready to open so that the bee's don't get killed when they pollanate the open flowers because the chemacals are under the petals. Peaches are the one fruit that need to be sprayed often. Your next spray is right after most of the flowers are spent and not later.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 8:04PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Dormant oil and sulphur are fine together when the tree is dormant. Heck you can even paint your tree when its dormant. Also that 30-day oil/sulphur gap is extreme in my mind, I have more often heard a week and its less if there was a rain in between (and, if one of the two was put on in dormant season so none got on any leaves, its also less wait needed).

It is indeed best to spray oil as late as possible. I started a recent thread on the oil topic and I now think it is probably best to spray oil at the 1/2" to 1" green stage to get the best effect.

Bob I'm not sure why you are saying not to prune now. Did you think it was thinning that was asked about? In the east peaches are usually pruned in late winter. I did mine last weekend.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 2:22PM
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Jerry71(6a)

Thank you Scott, so I will prune now, and I am talking heavy pruning, spray copper in first dry weather window and then when leaves are out 1/2" spray with oil. By then the flowers will be pollinated since flowers appears before leaves, on my peach anyway.
Am I correct?
Jerry

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 2:37PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Sounds good Jerry. I don't ever worry about oil vs pollination in any case, I never noticed any problems since summer oil should not be toxic and only stays on a couple days before evaporating completely.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 3:08PM
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persimmonbob(6b)

Most people including myself do not have a lot of tree's to prune. I only have 2 peach tree,s to worry about, my other tree's are already shaped and do not need heavy pruning any more.I do have a few late freeze's in my area. I do prune my peach tree's the open center and shape them for a lot of sun penetration when they are young. When i buy a peach i usely cut the tree down to about 32 inches and then pick-out the new laterals branches.I descard all the flowers the first 2-3 years and continue shaping and cleaning the tree of small branches,tipping-off strong growing shoots during spring and summer. Then in the spring i usely wait till the last frost that(27 degrees and lower)to do the final pruning.When you have a lot of tree's to take care-off you might do it differently.I have other fruit tree,s to fall back on mostly no spray tree's like persimmon,paw-paw, citrus,asian pear and a few others. I believe in edible lanscaping so my tree,s has to look good too. I am working on a 10 year project to get my 21/2 acres out of 5acres in shape and this is on a slope. 3 more years then i am done.(hopefully)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:26PM
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Jerry71(6a)

I have done it! The peach is pruned but now I have to find out how to heal bad cut of one and half inch branch. I do not want any disease to invade the wood. Preferable some home remedy since there is nothing here in stores.
I have to figure out how to post pictures. For now, go to my blog and let me know if I should prune some more next year.
Jerry

Here is a link that might be useful: Peach tree before and after pruning

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 3:04PM
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