It's late winter, so hopefully most of the hardest freezes are behind us here in central Alabama. That makes it time to prune fruit trees. I was unable to attend the local pruning workshops, so I settled for a series of videos to freshen my memory. The following one by the UMass Fruit Advisor provides an overview of the process. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBrwFTYrlc4
Since every tree is a different, I dug around youtube a bit more and came up with the following series of videos by Gurney’s Seed on how to train young trees.
2nd year pruning => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lILzh8_hmuo
3rd year pruning => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcIycAFKPI8
4th year => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VnQwEsOEuY
Important peach pruning notes:
- Remove diseased or dead limbs.
- Peaches bear fruit on last year's wood.
- Keep fruit low enough to pick
- Thin branches for good air circulation, to minimize disease, and to provide sunlight to leaves
- Provide sturdy "scaffolding" to carry the weight of fruit
- Limit number of fruiting branches so remainder of fruit will be large and healthy.
I cut this tree back to 4 scaffold branches a couple of years ago, so this year I just needed to clean up the new growth.
Before 2011 Pruning
After 2011 Pruning
In a few months we’ll see how well it worked.
I also have several muscadine grape vines which needed pruning. They were planted and trained to a geneva double curtain trellis as described in http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0774/ANR-0774.pdf
If you especially like videos, here’s one from goGardenNow in south Georgia about pruning his vineyard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdcaKO4Lk10
Now if I can find a professional in this area to critique my work I’ll know better what to do next year. Luckily, pruning is a fairly forgiving venture. Go enjoy your garden!