Reducing overall tree height. winter or summer prune?

So theoretically if I want to reduce a trees height from 12 feet to 8 feet wouldnt it be better to take the heading cuts in the summer when new buds wouldn’t be pushed? Ive read book that suggest doing this while dormant but wouldn’t that create a huge flush of water sprouts?

Yes doing dormant will cause a flush of new growth in spring. But you can keep after that in summer. I often do the major cuts after harvest so that would be mid to late summer. Either way you have to continue pruning as needed. There will be regrowth either way.

Yes, like fruitnut said. Summer pruning is more effective to control the size.

How do you go about pruning for size on, say, a peach with open center? The first year it grew from a straight stick, to a stick with 3 branches going in opposite directions. The next year it grew to really flush out to a nice full size with open center. Not far off from how I want the tree to remain for its life. Is there any plan I should follow?


Cut back some of the fruiting uprights down low by the main scaffold each yr. That causes new fruiting wood to form for the next year. Tree too big cut back more, too small less. Don’t wait too long on peach to renew wood or it may not sprout out new shoots as low as you want.