Peach – Shortening a Tall One
Q: Your web site says that peach trees should be pruned to about 6 ft. tall. I have never done that and my peach trees are 12′ to 15′ tall. Can I cut my peach trees back to 6′ at one time?
A: The tall limbs in the center of your peach will shade the others underneath and on the sides, diminishing fruit production. And what fruit does come will be too high to reach. Plus it’s hard to get good spray coverage that high.
I’d do this in two steps, even during bloom time. First, shorten the two to four of the tallest vertical shoots down to eight feet tall. That will eliminate some shade.
Spray fungicide at bloom and again when most flowers have fallen. When they are all gone you can start a regular program with home orchard spray.
In late June when all fruit is gone, shorten the tall stems you cut in spring back to five feet high. Also remove some of the twiggy limbs that cross through the center. Next February you can do more pruning to get close to the form seen here :