Another rookie fruit pruner...with rookie mistakes

Sorry if everything is close together starting at the right is a flordahome peach next is a hood pear then a pineapple pear followed by a flordahome pear then finally a fuyu persimmon. I based my cuts off what I learned in this book which another member recomended. So I feel like in hindsight I made some mistakes but luckily Im not particularly invested in these trees and am here to learn. I would love to know what you guys think I could do different next time and what I should do from here. Thank you.


They look fine to me :+1: it is always hard for me to prune small trees as you never have much to work with and it seems like you aren’t getting much accomplished. Good luck with them and hope they grow well!

Its really hard to get or give advice on pruning using photos or even videos. That being said if you can stomach it and want low growing and easy to manage trees with a nice branch structure you can just cut them at knee high and call it a day - seriously.

Peaches you’ll find put on a ton of growth and like to branch out, they are preferably pruned to a wide, spreading shape. You will need to prune them back HARD every year to keep them productive at a reasonable height.

Pears like to grow straight up into the sky in a column, but if you are willing to train them they can be forced to be a shorter, wider tree. This might also lead them to fruit earlier. You will need to zealously use spreaders and tie-downs. Summer pruning is also very important with management of growth. Hard dormant pruning can result in lots of new unproductive branches.

Not too much experience pruning persimmons (yet), but I’ve read that they don’t like excessive pruning or fertilizing because it results in delayed fruiting or fruit dropping.

In any case, learn how and where each species of fruit that you are growing forms fruit. The process by which the tree decides WHERE it will make fruit is vastly different in peaches and pears - and pruning is principally about optimizing for that process.


Also, trust me when I say you can watch 100 hours of videos on pruning and read 10 books but until you actually make the cuts and observe how the tree grows back it will all mean nothing. Getting decent at pruning is all about being able to predict how a tree will react to a pruning cut, and that only comes from several seasons of trial and error.


What Dimitri said!


Thanks for the replys guys! This is the first time i have done any real fruit pruning to try and yield a productive and supportive tree. Looking forward to seeing how these trees respond. I would prefer a low spreading shape since I am short on space and sunlight. I have read about starting trees with a 30 inch heading cut and then selecting 3 main branches to build off of. I have also read that it is preferable to have those main branches be seprated on the leader by 8 inches or so and not directly next to each other. Thanks again.

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We were new to fruit trees a few years back, all stone fruit. I was really wanting to get three peach trees with the perfect open center. The garden center had really big peach trees and were quite pricey. They were nothing but 6-7 foot spikes!

later while shopping at our local grocery store, they had 4 ft tall Red Haven’s. And best of all, had good potential structure for the scaffolds. We just lopped off the top 2 ft and picked 4-5 scaffolds. These trees were only 1/2-3/4 inch dia., but one trees made 2 very nice peaches. They grow so fast you have many opportunities to prune wrong and later right.

I also have used wires to pull down scaffolds to get a “more” perfect shape. Soon you have a tree that requires arm loads of pruning. Now we trying how to will the battle of the OFM

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3 year old pruner here and still a rookie. I feel like I have a better feel for peaches, nectarines, and plums, but afraid I’m cutting back crucial limbs for apples. My yield has been pitiful to none. I understand it is two year branches that bear fruit, but how much do I cut back in length of the two year branches. If I dont they will be up to sky. I also read where someone suggested no heading cut on the main leader for several years so that the first harvest is not delayed. I read that too little too late, but wonder if others subscribe to that as well.

If your goal is early fruit you can try bending down some branches or even girdling - more info here: Advanced tree training techniques: pruning, bending, notching, pinching, etc. Aggressive pruning also seems to discourage fruit set, for apples and pears I think its much better to try and train them into the shape you want and summer prune, but it takes more time and effort than people are willing to commit.

Thanks, I have switched more recently to more summer prune and less dormant winter prune because of all the limb and leaf growth. Maybe I am on the right track

So I went ahead and cut everything at 30 inches off soil level. Going to delay fruiting for another year but should allow me to make these into an ideal shape.

Looks like an interesting book to use.