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Pruning Peach Trees

Lately, the weather here has been exceptional. Temperatures in the 60’s, clear blue skies and low humidity. The kind of weather you wouldn’t mind having all year round. The kind of weather that says, ‘Hey get off that computer and go outside . . . do something, anything – just get the heck out of the house’.

I took that advice the other day and with David’s help managed to get all of the peach trees (and plum trees) pruned back. In case you’re not familiar with peach trees, they’re not the prettiest trees and seem to be prone to various diseases, insects and blights. In spite of that, having fresh peaches for ice cream or pies makes it worth the effort.

We gathered our tools: small limb saw; limb lobbers; and reciprocating saw and headed for the orchard.

We first cut back all the suckers and dead wood. Then we pruned and shaped the remaining limbs. Our goal was to keep the outer limbs not much higher than we could reach with the inside branches slightly shorter. When we had finished the tree resembled a bowl made of sticks – and I have to say anyone else probably wouldn’t have noticed much difference other than the HUGE pile of limbs that need to be moved before we can mow.

Friendly warning – I would not recommend using the reciprocating saw on smaller limbs and branches as doing so turns the offending branch and as well as the limb into an out of control, blur of what feels like a thousand switches from every direction, all hitting you at the same time. OUCH that hurt!!

Peach tree before (left) and after (right) pruning

Peach tree before (left) and after (right) pruning

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