Advice on pruning peach tree?

alison(6b/OH)June 27, 2012

The 5 year old Reliance peach tree we've planted at work has always been a real Giving Tree, but this year the branches at the top -- to tall to reach and cull -- are breaking from the weight of the fruit. Despite a bad bout of leaf curl.

The last few years, I've taken off nearly half the fruit on the lower limbs, but it's grown so tall I can't reach the upper branches. The location makes it tough to get a ladder in there.

I've used a rake to pull off what I can, but it's an imperfect system, since I seem to pull off strips of bark as well.

Any suggestions?

The tree says: 'help meeeeee'.....

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franktank232(z5 WI)

Prune prune prune... The tree has become too tall... If that tree was mine, I'd chop it back and get some much lower branches started. Peaches respond pretty quickly to a heavy haircut. Your tree may snap if those fruit get much bigger.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:53AM
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alison(6b/OH)

I should have clarified that picture is only one branch, the top 5 feet of a 20 foot tree. The tree itself is more than twice as wide as it is tall, but we've got a construction fence on one side, a lilac on another, a building on a third, and a small walkway on the fourth, and I can't get a good picture of the whole tree.

It definetly needs expert pruining, tho'. We've tried; cutting out the crossing branches, keeping to the basic vase shape the books seem to recommend. But every year, despite pulling off nearly half the peaches as they form, we still have bowed branches. (I'm going to try "raking" off more of the peaches at the top this weekend.)

I don't know how to limit the fruit to the thicker branches; do we cut off all the little side branches in the fall? In the spring? Put big crutches underneath the branches?

We're all quite fond of this tree, which was planted in memery of a colleague who passed away, and we'd like t to do well.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:49PM
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