Cold climate peach pruning

I have some questions about cold-climate peach pruning here in Zone 5b.

We are likely to have a freeze-out of flowering buds many years. Probably half or more of the years I would expect to see most of the buds killed, or a reduced harvest because of winter cold or late spring frosts.

Right now my one peach tree (Redhaven) is way too tall at 10-12 feet. That is getting too tall for me to safely reach with a ladder and get decent spray coverage from my rudimentary sprayers. I think it put on 3 feet of new growth this year.

Is it possible to prune out some growth to lower branches now in the summer?

Or should I wait until winter?

If we hit lower than -15F, I would probably do a heavy pruning on it for sure, but if we never get that cold I’m tempted just to prune for open structure and leave as much fruiting wood as possible.


I do a ton of summer pruning. Haven’t lost a tree yet.