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Author Topic: Peach tree update + pruning tips?  (Read 760 times)

chad6159

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Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« on: September 06, 2018, 04:33:13 PM »
My peach tree went from basically dying (all the leaves were turning yellow and falling off, and new leaves would turn yellow and get holes after a few days) to now full of leaves and green! Fertilized the crap out of it which was recommended here and that seems to have done the trick.

My question is how should I prune this? Should I prune it now or should I wait until it goes dormant? also at this height how many branches should I keep?

The tree is really oddly shaped right now because Irma knocked it over and half the the tree completely died, so now it is all lopsided.

I am just afraid to prune it because it is finally growing! But I know, just like all of my other trees, if you prune it, it will grow faster.

What do you guys recommend for pruning peach trees?

Attached are some before and after pics

Before:


After:






« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 04:35:34 PM by chad6159 »

achetadomestica

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 07:22:18 PM »
Next year's peaches will form on the new growth. If you prune now it may be too late
for new growth to form and you will get less peaches. I would continue to fertilize until
October 1st. Give the tree a few months off and water once a week. Then start fertilizing
next January/February heavy and the tree will flush and you should have a nice crop. Water at least 3 times
a week and fertilize heavy throughout the fruiting season. Then after you eat the fruit you can
prune heavy around June. Then your tree will really take off and you should have allot more new
growth for the following year's crop.


So prune next June after the fruiting season. I remember that tree and it looks fantastic now!

achetadomestica

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 07:51:57 PM »
There is good literature from UF about the proper way to prune a peach tree.
For maximum fruit production and fruit quality you want to cut the center trunk out and create an open canopy
Ideally you have four separate branches with the middle removed.

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs365

According to this literature ideally the tree would have an open canopy already. I would wait until
after the fruit season to prune. UF designed these low chill peaches but it is much cooler in Gainesville then
here. My trees rarely lose their leaves and receive the necessary chill hours yet these trees produce the best peaches
I have ever eaten every year! 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 07:55:04 PM by achetadomestica »

chad6159

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 08:40:54 PM »
There is good literature from UF about the proper way to prune a peach tree.
For maximum fruit production and fruit quality you want to cut the center trunk out and create an open canopy
Ideally you have four separate branches with the middle removed.

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs365

According to this literature ideally the tree would have an open canopy already. I would wait until
after the fruit season to prune. UF designed these low chill peaches but it is much cooler in Gainesville then
here. My trees rarely lose their leaves and receive the necessary chill hours yet these trees produce the best peaches
I have ever eaten every year!

Oh yeah the first year I had it it produced a bunch of peaches. They were the best peaches I have ever eaten also! But since then it has had this issue I talked about above. It would always get peaches on it, but once they reached the size of a quarter they would drop off. I am hoping since it is healthy this year it will hold onto the peaches next season.

Thank you for the link. I knew it should only have a few branches but I was always just too excited to see the thing actually grow that I did now want to prune it. I did cut off about 30% of the branches (all of the crossing branches) when I fertilized it and any new branches it tries to put out.

If anyone else has any tips please chime in.

sunworshiper

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 09:04:29 PM »
Prune when blooms are budding. You can shape and judge which branches to keep to get a good crop. I also tie wrapping paper ribbon on branches I want to remove after fruiting before it leafs out. Makes it easier to prune after fruiting.

achetadomestica

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 10:08:11 PM »
My trees sometimes get stressed from the heat and flowers during the summer. If fruit develops
from this summer bloom they also usually fall off. When the tree flowers in the Spring this is the
time to water and feed heavy to ensure a good crop. I am not sure what sunworshipper is talking
about but it may be colder in Oveido.  Why would you prune the tree when it blooms? You may choose
to thin fruit and I have heard to try to keep fruit 6" apart for the best quality. But the trees fully leaf
out while the fruit developes down here. It's much easier to prune in June when the fruiting season is over.

Another issue here is the lack of chill hours. The trees require chill hours but when the temps go above
70F the chill hours reverse and then we have an occasional cool front. Last year my trees flushed more then
one time in the spring. The fruit ripened at the same time. If there is a late frost while the tree is flushig the
fruit is in jeopardy but the tree usually flushes again. You are in the Cape and probably don't get 50 chill hours
a year let alone 50 continous hours. It's really amazing the trees produce at all. 

chad6159

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2018, 07:35:24 AM »
My trees sometimes get stressed from the heat and flowers during the summer. If fruit develops
from this summer bloom they also usually fall off. When the tree flowers in the Spring this is the
time to water and feed heavy to ensure a good crop. I am not sure what sunworshipper is talking
about but it may be colder in Oveido.  Why would you prune the tree when it blooms? You may choose
to thin fruit and I have heard to try to keep fruit 6" apart for the best quality. But the trees fully leaf
out while the fruit developes down here. It's much easier to prune in June when the fruiting season is over.

Another issue here is the lack of chill hours. The trees require chill hours but when the temps go above
70F the chill hours reverse and then we have an occasional cool front. Last year my trees flushed more then
one time in the spring. The fruit ripened at the same time. If there is a late frost while the tree is flushig the
fruit is in jeopardy but the tree usually flushes again. You are in the Cape and probably don't get 50 chill hours
a year let alone 50 continous hours. It's really amazing the trees produce at all.

Yeah every year it flowers and fruits. I have never had it flush more than once though. I will remember that about the 6" apart.

If I prune in June will that give enough time for new growth to happen for next years crop? Since it only fruits on last years growth.

If you have any pictures of your peach tree I would love to see it! I have not seen many in Florida. Which I am surprised because these are the best peaches!

Triphal

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2018, 10:09:08 AM »
Better if this is discussed in the Temperate zone section.

achetadomestica

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2018, 11:25:26 AM »
Better if this is discussed in the Temperate zone section.


Low chill peaches

achetadomestica

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2018, 11:39:32 AM »

Yeah every year it flowers and fruits. I have never had it flush more than once though. I will remember that about the 6" apart.

If I prune in June will that give enough time for new growth to happen for next years crop? Since it only fruits on last years growth.

If you have any pictures of your peach tree I would love to see it! I have not seen many in Florida. Which I am surprised because these are the best peaches!
[/quote]


When you prune in May or June after the fruit is done if you feed the tree properly the tree will explode in growth.
If you read UF pruning techniques they are trying to promote the lateral branches. You will have branches that are
vertical and you want to cut them out. You are trying to make the tree grow sideways. These scaffold branches are
what have the blooms not the vertical straight branches. As we already discussed peaches are high maintenance trees.
I am putting manure on my trees every 2 weeks. I will get a couple pictures later on. 

Coach62

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2018, 04:47:50 PM »
Better if this is discussed in the Temperate zone section.

He's in SW Florida.  We have to grow very low chill peaches, they are more temperamental.

Mark in Texas

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2018, 05:41:26 PM »
Am in the heart of peach country, have access to 21 varieties for grafting for top working and am going to this training profile for newly planted trees.  It's a no brainer compared to the open vase profile.  We start our main scaffold branches very low to the ground, like 18", 3-5 almost horizontal, lateral. http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C878&title=Simple%20Tree%20Training%20Technique%20for%20Peaches
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 05:43:19 PM by Mark in Texas »

chad6159

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2018, 10:49:46 PM »
I just donít see how people get them to grow horizontally. The only way I can think is if you tied it to something. Anytime I would prune mine or a new branch would come in it would go off to the side for a few inches and then just grow straight up.

Mark in Texas

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2018, 10:08:42 AM »
I just donít see how people get them to grow horizontally. The only way I can think is if you tied it to something. Anytime I would prune mine or a new branch would come in it would go off to the side for a few inches and then just grow straight up.

You can tie it to the ground little by little and prune off any dominant branches that go vertical.  Here's one that's about 12" girth, the crotch.



Don't laugh.  This Harvester peach variety was 10' H X 25' wide before I took it down to top work it with Cary Mac and Loring sticks, all popular commercial varieties around 750 chill hrs.



Bush2Beach

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2018, 10:38:47 AM »
Not a Sub tropical or Tropical fruit.
Neither are Low chill Apples.
Low chill Cherries.

Not much action in the Temperate fruit section of the forum however.

Better if this is discussed in the Temperate zone section.


Low chill peaches

Mark in Texas

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2018, 10:51:29 AM »
Not a Sub tropical or Tropical fruit.
Neither are Low chill Apples.
Low chill Cherries.

Not much action in the Temperate fruit section of the forum however.

Better if this is discussed in the Temperate zone section.

How about pomegranates then?  100 chill hours but they ARE a big challenge thanks to splitting, heart rot, etc.  Here's what's left off my first tree and the other variety (Sweet) is loaded with 40 or so huge fruits.



chad6159

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2018, 11:05:14 AM »
I just donít see how people get them to grow horizontally. The only way I can think is if you tied it to something. Anytime I would prune mine or a new branch would come in it would go off to the side for a few inches and then just grow straight up.

You can tie it to the ground little by little and prune off any dominant branches that go vertical.  Here's one that's about 12" girth, the crotch.





Don't laugh.  This Harvester peach variety was 10' H X 25' wide before I took it down to top work it with Cary Mac and Loring sticks, all popular commercial varieties around 750 chill hrs.




Thank you for the pictures. I have some bamboo poles I can tie them off to to make it grow horizontal. Then just keep adjusting it as it grows

chad6159

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2018, 11:14:10 AM »






I noticed this happening with the trunk this morning. Is this something to worry about?

Coach62

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2018, 06:18:46 AM »
Looks bad to me. Youíve got insects in there too.

Iíve been really nervous about those that said ďfeed heavilyĒ. Thatís a dangerous thing to do, just a little too much fertilizer and you burn the roots and weaken the tree. You should never really apply any more than the recommended rate. Same with pesticides. UF has put a lot of effort coming up with the recommended fertilization rate, follow them and your tree will be healthy.

You can also go to local club meetings and get advice, just be careful who you listen too.

chad6159

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2018, 09:19:58 AM »
I have been seeing sugar/ghost ants on the tree lately, but I dont think it would be because of them.

I sprayed it with neem oil last night, so hopefully that helps..of course once this thing starts to do good now this happens..

sunworshiper

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2018, 09:04:09 AM »
I followed http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/m/#publication?id=HS365 for their advice on dormant pruning. It is easier to make major shaping changes when the tree isn't leafed out. I do a second light pruning just after harvest. For shaping branches I use wooden close pins with some lug nuts attached to them with string to weight new branches.

Here's the only pic of mine I hav handy - on the left



chad6159

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2018, 01:10:05 PM »
I followed http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/m/#publication?id=HS365 for their advice on dormant pruning. It is easier to make major shaping changes when the tree isn't leafed out. I do a second light pruning just after harvest. For shaping branches I use wooden close pins with some lug nuts attached to them with string to weight new branches.

Here's the only pic of mine I hav handy - on the left




Looks like a good healthy tree. Thanks for sharing! Hopefully mine will be there one day.

sunworshiper

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2018, 07:35:27 PM »
The damage on the trunk looks like sun scalding- I paint my tree when it is dormant with a 50/50 water latex paint mix as "sunscreen". Works well. Sunscald doesn't show up right away - can even be s season later. Not much you can do about it after the fact. Mine has a gash on the trunk that is about 1/3 of the circumference gag looks similar. Haven't had any new ones form since I started using the paint and the old ones haven't gotten worse.

Mark in Texas

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2018, 10:45:08 AM »

Thank you for the pictures. I have some bamboo poles I can tie them off to to make it grow horizontal. Then just keep adjusting it as it grows

  My peach trees are 25' in diameter upon maturity so to prune each spring is a real PITA.  Because of their canopy girth I have to work my way into the canopy.  I use a gas chain saw and nothing else to prune.  When they're young it's easy peasy.  Get them up 10 years and it's a lot of work.

Here's a local commercial grower's orchard.  If you do the vase profile this is how they could look.   




« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 10:47:28 AM by Mark in Texas »

chad6159

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Re: Peach tree update + pruning tips?
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2018, 01:31:18 PM »

Thank you for the pictures. I have some bamboo poles I can tie them off to to make it grow horizontal. Then just keep adjusting it as it grows

  My peach trees are 25' in diameter upon maturity so to prune each spring is a real PITA.  Because of their canopy girth I have to work my way into the canopy.  I use a gas chain saw and nothing else to prune.  When they're young it's easy peasy.  Get them up 10 years and it's a lot of work.

Here's a local commercial grower's orchard.  If you do the vase profile this is how they could look.   






Thanks for the pics! I put up 5 bamboo poles and tied some of the main branches out so they would grow horizontal. Once it fruits I will cut a bunch of the branches off, especially the main vertical one.

 

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