I usually prune my peach in March, but this year it was steady cold weather in March and also tree looked poor (it is older tree) and I wanted to see what will come up alive before starting to prune.It is now in silver tip stage and I should have pruned it this weekend, but had other tasks and didn’t. Can it be pruned closer to bloom time (next weekend) or I need to take day off to prune it ASAP?
I read many times that a good time to prune peach trees at during bloom time and/or after harvest. This is not counting summer pruning.
I do not prune peaches in early spring or very late in the fall and not in the winter for our zone. I usually pruned before bloom but this year, I will prune during bloom time.
Interesting, I did some googling, and all I see is early spring. I hopped bloom time is possible time as well. Thanks!
I can’t remember what university extension in the northeast that I read this info from. I believe that is what Mark @olpea suggested as well.
Early spring could be a suggestion from people or uni that are further south?
I’ve sort of evolved on our timing for pruning. Honestly, we mostly do it when we have time. We’ve pruned peaches in just about any time of the year except dead of winter.
In terms of timing from publications. I’ve read several ideas. My personal thought is the very best time to prune in my area is after fruit set. That’s because spring freezes can remove a lot of fruit. In bad years, many shoots can have zero fruit on them. We remove those unproductive shoots. In years where there is a full fruit set, a lot of shoots can be removed to help thin the crop.
This time also obviously avoids any winter damage. Plus, temps during this time are warmer and callus faster. Additionally, and cuts at this time will have all summer to heal. The disadvantage is that there is a lot of spring rains, which are bad for various bacterial/fungal infections, but that’s a small trade for the advantages, imo.
Of course vigorous peaches need pruned more than once per season, but this is the best time, considering all variable, imo.
An end of the season pruning would also be advised, where only the current summer’s vigorous water spouts are removed. One can’t (or shouldn’t) try to grow fruit on those anyway.
Thank you for your detailed response.