How to Prune a Georgia Peach Tree

Overview

Figuring out how to prune a Georgia peach tree can be one of the most daunting tasks for owners of the tree. Pruning such a tree can be very important, simply because the tree needs proper light and air flow. Further, some branches can actually interfere with other branches, leading both shoots to eventually become problematic and unhealthy. Therefore, you must apply a conscientious effort to prune Georgia peach trees, especially in the first few critical years after planting. This requires not only determining when to prune the trees but also how to prune them.

Step 1

Cut the tree back to no higher than 30 inches after the initial planting. Further, make sure there are no other branches on the tree, especially if the tree is relatively young. While this may seem like a waste, it will make for a healthier tree in the long run.

Step 2

Wait until the late winter before you begin any pruning. Removing branches through pruning is not recommended from October through January because this may open the tree up to winter bacterial infections.

Step 3

Use clippers to remove any diseased or broken branches after the first year, along with any branches that may be growing in a more upright direction, which is not the most ideal situation for the peach tree. At this point, you will probably be removing more upright branches than dead or diseased ones. Still, any problems with dead limbs should be cut out immediately.

Step 4

Continue to remove branches that are dead or growing upright in the second and third years as well. This process may take longer as the tree begins to grow and more branches spread out. The smaller branches are often the best for growing fruit, so leave as many of them as possible.

Step 5

Prune mature peach trees by first looking at branches that may be dead or diseased. These branches may be discolored compared to the rest of the tree. Branches may die due to freeze damage, insects or fungal infections. These dead limbs can sap resources necessary for the trees' health.

Tips and Warnings

  • Pruning may not completely take care of all fungal infections and fungicides may be needed in addition to pruning. Bacterial canker can result if pruning too early in the winter, which can lead to fatal results.

Things You'll Need

  • Peach trees
  • Pruning clippers

References

  • University of Georgia Extension
  • Integrated Pest Management Centers

Who Can Help

  • Growing Peaches
  • Peach Nutrition
Keywords: prune mature peach trees, diseased or broken branches, remove branches

About this Author

Ken Black is a freelance writer and a staff writer for The Times Republican in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel.