Should I Prune My Peach Tree Early?

Q: We have been waiting for the right time to prune our peach tree and I know you recommend March for that. However we just noticed that they seem like they will bloom very soon. Should we still wait until March?

A: The tendency of peaches to bloom in January is the reason to wait until March to do your final cuts. Only in March will you be able to assess if any freeze damage has been done to flower buds or to branch tips. In March it will be easy to see the difference between brown, crumbly frozen buds and the slightly pink good buds that will give you peaches this summer. A second reason to wait is that pruning in January will initiate hormone movement in the peach branches which will make the remaining buds less tolerant of upcoming cold weather.

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