Peach tree pruningby Linda & Rob Cordtz on 02/29/12
Pruning is still underway at the Orchard, we're in the peaches now and moving along nicely. I'm sometimes asked "How should I prune my peach tree" by folks I run into on my infrequent trips to town. This is a hard question to answer without seeing the tree in question, but there are some general established peach tree pruning rules which one can follow and most likely not kill their tree.
First thing to remember is that by pruning your are reducing the number of buds that will bloom and in turn make fruit, the fewer buds the better the fruit because the tree's energy can be concentrated on them. So don't be afraid to remove some growth, on a given limb we remove just about every thing down to one of the shoot off of last years wood, this "spur" is then topped at about a foot.
Second thing to remember is that winter pruning stimulates growth and summer pruning stunts growth. We prune mostly in the winter, the only summer pruning we do is to cut off suckers from the roots.
Third thing is to prune for limb strength and fruit production, always leave good strong wood with lots of fruit buds and remove any dead wood from your tree.