Peach Tree Pruning: Instructions From The Expert

Peaches can also be grown fruit-bearing in cooler regions. The pruning of the peach tree is essential for successful cultivation. The peach tree ( Prunus persica ) is a stone fruit and is closely related to the cherry tree (sweet cherry: Prunus avium, sour cherry: Prunus cerasus). Even if you may not believe it at first, the peach can also be grown successfully in the slightly warmer.

As with almost all fruit trees, regular pruning of peaches can contribute to improved health and increased fruit yields. Since peaches, just like sour cherries, already bloom on annual wood, they can be cut a little more generously and carelessly than other fruit trees. After the cut, enough wood is formed on which fruit can grow in the next year.

Peachtree: when to cut?

As with other fruit trees, peaches can also be pruned in winter (January to April) or summer (late June to early August). The early winter pruning in the course of the year has a positive effect on the promotion of growth and promotes new shoots. In moderation, this is particularly good for the peach, since it develops its flower buds on the young, fresh shoots (annual wood), from which fruits then arise.

The summer pruning, however, slows down this favored growth somewhat and ensures that the shoots do not sprout in all directions and thousands. Seen in this way, a combination of summer and winter pruning can be optimal to achieve a balanced relationship between fruit development and the growth of shoots or leaves in peaches.

Peach tree pruning: instructions from the expert

Cut the peach tree correctly

The question of all questions when pruning a tree is, of course, which shoot should give way and which should stop. The decision for or against the shoot can be decisive for the suitable and ultimately promising growth form of the tree. This also applies to the peach. However, no general statement can be made. The correct procedure depends above all on the age and the previous care that the tree has undergone.

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Pruning young peach trees

It is best if the execution of editing measures is started right from the start. In the best-case scenario, the first cut is already made with the planting. With the so-called plant pruning, all side shoots are radically cut back to a maximum of five eyes each. It also happens to the main shoot, which should protrude higher than all other shoots after the cut. It is important to focus on a single shoot as the main shoot and not to let the tree develop twins. In the following years, the so-called educational cuts follow. It is important to promote the branching of the tree, taking into account the optimal fruit set. Strong, healthy leading branches are identified and shortened at the tip of the shoot. Side shoots are sometimes removed entirely or not cut at all. It is advisable to shorten some of the side shoots to encourage the formation of annual wood.

Peach tree pruning: instructions from the expert

When cutting the peach, however, there is one more special feature to consider. Two different types of shoots develop real fruit shoots and false fruit shoots. The wrong fruit shoots also contain flower buds that can develop fruits, but they throw them off immediately because they do not develop enough leaf mass to adequately supply the fruits. This is different from the real fruit shoots. Like a peach tree expert, you can safely distinguish real from false fruit shoots:

  • False fruit shoots only develop single flower buds per node
  • False fruit shoots only have a leaf bud at the tip of the shoot
  • Real fruit shoots form two adjacent flower buds on each node, which also frame a leaf bud (triple buds)

Incorrect fruit shoots neither contribute to the supply of the tree nor do they ensure an increase in the fruit yield. In any case, they should be completely cut out of the tree.

Everything you need to know about pruning peach trees here in a nutshell:

  • It is essential to carry out a generous plant cut
    • Cut back side shoots to a maximum of five eyes
    • Choosing the main shoot
    • Leave the main shoot slightly higher than the side shoots
  • Carry out training pruning regularly and generously to promote the formation of the fruiting, annual wood
    • Determine leading branches
    • Shorten the guide branch tip
    • Shorten the side shoots, leave them standing or remove them completely (keyword: “real” and “false” fruitwood)
Peach tree pruning: instructions from the expert
There are false and real fruit shoots

Pruning old peach trees

The maintenance pruning of older peach trees should also be carried out regularly so that the tree has a balanced relationship between fruitwood and older shoots on which hardly any or no fruit is formed. As already learned for the upbringing of younger peach trees, it is important to distinguish between real and fake fruitwood. In addition, the hierarchy between main shoots, leading shoots, and side shoots must be observed. If necessary, depending on the individual case, it can make sense to remove stronger guide branches completely if they take too much light from the rest of the tree and become too dominant. It is important to observe the tree after the cut and to draw conclusions for the next cutting measure from the cuts made.

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These products are ideal for cutting your shrubs, hedges, and trees:

  • Felco Secateurs: Manual pruning shears, pruning shears, and garden shears are recommended for all types of cutting. In addition to plastic-coated handles, it has a precision adjustment system for the blade and anvil blade.
  • Felco fruit tree and secateurs: Robust fruit tree and secateurs with wire cutter, juice groove, and micrometer adjustment.
  • Gardena telescopic arm scissors: Practical secateurs for effortless cutting of tall trees and dense shrubs from the ground.

Peachtree: cutting special shapes correctly

Fruit trees are often available in special growth forms. Whether as a column or a trellis – in principle, all fruit tree shapes can be traced back to the same plant. The only breakthrough to achieve and maintain a certain growth shape of the peach tree is ultimately only the right cut.

Peach tree pruning: instructions from the expert
The right cut promotes the yield

Pruning a peach columnar tree

Column-shaped peach trees do not need a lot of space and, with enough dedication, can even be cultivated successfully on the balcony in pots. Under optimal conditions, they can boast abundant fruit yields. With the following pruning measures you can maintain or create a columnar growth habit for your peach tree:

  • Shorten the main shoot twice a year
  • Massively shorten side shoots twice a year (up to a maximum of 15 cm)
  • Differentiate between real and false fruit shoots

Cut the peach espalier

Peach espaliers are particularly useful for using the heat from house walls and thus promoting the growth of the peaches. But above all, that requires a skillful and regular cut. The following steps are to be observed when cutting peach espaliers:

  • Peach espalier is best grown in a “fan”, ie two main shoots that go off to the left and right at an angle of approx. 45 ° to each other
  • Determine some of the side shoots leaving the main shoot as leading shoots and train them to grow horizontally
  • Leave suitable side shoots for fruit formation every 15 to 20 cm from the main shoot
  • Regularly shorten the side shoots leaving the main shoot and encourage the formation of annual wood
  • Differentiate between real and false fruit shootsPeach tree pruning: instructions from the expert

Cut mini peach tree

Mini peach trees can find a place even on small balconies and terraces. But just because they don’t get that big naturally doesn’t mean you get the free ticket for cutting the dwarf peach. Since mini peach trees do not differ in the biology of blossom and fruit formation from their larger siblings and also bear fruit on annual wood, the pruning measures must be carried out in the same way. Depending on the condition and vigor, pruning measures for the mini peach tree are also appropriate in winter or summer.

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