Saturday, January 19, 2008

4 easy steps to peach pruning

Normally we don't prune peaches until April or May, however, the warm weather last week and an upcoming presentation with a need to have a video on peach pruning prompted us to do this. Wes Autio, Professor of Pomology, UMass Amherst, demonstrates a simplified '4-step' method for pruning young peach trees. These peaches, 'PF-14 New Jersey,' planted at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard will be in their third growing season, and are being trained to an open-center. During the first two years, excess branching was left to establish the trees and force some branching 'out,' but now is the time to select the permanent scaffold limbs and prepare the tree for fruiting -- we would hope to pick about 20 lbs. of fruit off this tree this year. In reality, further shoot and fruit thinning may likely have to be done this spring after a crop is set. Enjoy.