What is the best time to prune peach trees? How do you know when it’s too early or too late to trim them? Let’s dig into the facts.
Deciding to prune peach trees requires an understanding of when and how this needs to be done. The “when” is under focus as we seek to discuss the best time for pruning these trees.
However, some brief information on the “how” will also be included to help you get some background information on the techniques used.
Is Pruning Necessary?
If you still have your doubts about the importance of pruning peach trees, this section will educate you on why it’s vital. Peach trees, like most fruit trees, require some level of maintenance. Pruning is also part of that maintenance. It is done for several reasons; to keep the trees healthier and more productive.
Having established the aims of pruning peach trees to include maintaining the health of the tree and the quality of its fruit, the next question is; what exactly is done? When pruning, older and non-fruiting wood in addition to overgrown branches are cut off.
Also, diseased, dead or damaged branches are taken off.
Pruning also opens up the peach tree to sunlight and air. This is vital to the survival and health of the tree and allows it to blossom and develop properly. Most importantly, peach trees must be kept at a workable height.
In other words, the height should be well adjusted to activities like harvesting, pest control, and pruning.
Pruning trees is also vital to creating a strong framework. A strong framework is needed to bear the weight of the fruits. Balancing the fruit yield plus vegetative production is also essential.
When to Prune Peach Trees
Can you prune peach trees in summer, what about after they bloom?
This is the crux of our discussion and rightly so because timing is of the essence during maintenance. Early spring is the best time to prune peach trees. That is before the sap starts to run. During early spring, the chances for pest and disease infestations are much reduced.
Early spring is also a great time to get the job done because most trees shed their leaves. This allows for greater visibility of the tree’s structure. As such, you could easily spot deficiencies or improper growth which should be addressed immediately.
Some other sources advocate pruning peach trees in late summer. Such varying timelines for carrying out this activity can be quite confusing for many. However, the reasons given by each school of thought are quite reasonable.
For those advocating for peachtree pruning in late summer, the reasons are simple; late summer pruning allows for easy healing as the warm spring weather sets in. This encourages new growth, allowing the trees to blossom.
However, the only exception will be when such diseased limbs are involved. These should be removed immediately without delay irrespective of the time of year.
Peach Tree Maintenance
Peachtree maintenance has been mentioned several during our discussion to this point. While we’ve mentioned pruning to be one of the maintenance activities, it isn’t restricted to pruning alone. In other words, other equally important actions help maintain a peach tree.
These include proper and adequate fertilization, pest management and irrigation. These combined with pruning provides the right conditions required for such trees to thrive.
Are Peach Trees Demanding?
Since pruning is a requirement to keep peach trees healthy and productive, it will be necessary to find out if such trees are demanding. In other words, does it demand much labor to maintain productivity? Not at all! Peach trees are among the least demanding plants to maintain. What more? They begin fruiting early on in the season.
Although it has its fair share of diseases which plague it, these aren’t as many when compared with other tree varieties. More so, getting rid of these diseases isn’t much of a problem when inspection and maintenance are carried out frequently. Pruning can be scheduled yearly to remove diseased, damaged and overgrown branches.
How Peach Trees Are Pruned
This section of the article will focus on how peach trees are pruned. These fruit trees must be pruned in a certain way to avoid stress and damage to the trees. The techniques for pruning peach trees are quite different from those of other fruit trees.
Unlike other trees whose main trunk or leader is left untouched, pruning takes the form of a “V” or vase shape. What this means is that the main branches angle out at about 45-degrees without the central trunk. This allows for greater penetration of sunlight and air into the tree.
Depth Of Pruning
When pruning peach trees certain things need to be taken into consideration. One of the major ones has to do with the depth of pruning. In other words, this focuses on how much of the tree needs to be pruned. Because peach trees thrive and fruit more on wood about a year old, about 40 % of the tree will need to be pruned away.
This is meant to encourage the development of more branches which in turn results in more fruits. For easy identification, shoots more than a year old appears grey and won’t be bearing any fruits. These should be targeted and cut off.
On the other hand, you should avoid those shoots which aren’t up to a year old and appear reddish. Such branches will grow fruits. The peach tree requires this yearly practice to ensure it stays fruitful. Pruning is necessary to create more branch shoots which translate to more fruits.
Getting the job (pruning peach trees) done requires the use of the right equipment. Without them, there’s little you can achieve, no matter how well-timed it is. Basic tools include thick gloves, bypass shears, long-handled pruners and optional tools like the stepladder and pruning saw.
These equipment help you get the work done more effectively, faster and accurately. You might require rubbing alcohol to disinfect shears or pruners when dealing with diseased branches.
There you go! We have provided you with sufficient information on the best time to prune peach trees. But more than that, we have also included how to get the job done in addition to tools being required.