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If you want your peach tree to bear plenty of fruit next year, you have to cut it. But be careful, there are a number of things to consider.Peach trees have to be cut regularly In German gardens, the peach tree is probably one of the most popular fruit trees alongside apple and pear trees.
But one thing should be said: if you choose a peach tree, then you must bear in mind that it is very demanding in terms of care. If you want to achieve a consistently high yield, you cannot avoid regular pruning, for example.
That may not sound particularly difficult now, but if you don't pay attention and cut indiscriminately around the tree, you will damage it rather than care for it properly. The consequence would be e.g. a crop failure next year. In order to prevent this from happening in the first place, we will explain in detail below how to proceed correctly with cutting.
Always make fruitwood cuts in spring
You can usually buy a peach tree in nurseries and nurseries with a short trunk and a low crown. This tree bears fruit only on the shoots trained in the previous year, i.e. only on annual wood. The long shoots fruit only once, in the third year no flower buds are formed there. There are then very few leaves left on it. So if you want to get a high yield, you have to make a consistent cut every spring.
If you just let the tree grow in front of you, the fruit shoots shorten and only peaches are formed on the outer edge of the crown. So you have to make sure that the relationship between new and old shoots remains balanced. You must therefore remove at least three quarters of the shoots from last year either immediately after the harvest or in spring before the flowering period. The rest, however, you have to cut down to three buds. In this way, new shoots can be trained for the coming year.
Important: only cut the wrong fruit shoots
True fruit shoots:
In contrast to other fruit trees, the peach tree has a special feature. Here you have to differentiate between true and false fruit shoots when pruning. You can tell the right fruit shoots from the fact that the rounded buds still have one or two pointed leaf buds. It is very important that these true fruit shoots are preserved when cutting, because this is where the fruits come from. You can cut the last section of this fruit shoot, because there are usually only leaf buds there.
Wrong fruit shoots:
The false fruit shoots also have rounded flower buds, at this point they are indistinguishable from the real ones. However, they are not surrounded by leaf buds, so that they are easy to see on closer inspection. Peaches also emerge from these shoots, but these fruits remain very small and are thrown off early. This is because the few leaves are unable to ensure fruit nutrition. So you can remove these false fruit shoots completely or at least shorten them to one or two leaf buds.
The peach tree also has a third type of shoot: the so-called bouquet shoots. Since they also have fertile buds, you must not cut them back. The so-called wooden shoots, on the other hand, can be easily removed or shortened, because they are only needed to build a beautiful crown.
A little hint:
Do you have problems differentiating the different buds? Then it's best to prune when the first buds open at the start of flowering.
This should be taken into account when cutting back in summer
With the peach tree, it is important that the crown does not grow too densely, because the fruits need a lot of sun to ripen. Therefore, cut too much rather than too little on the peach tree. You can't go wrong too much here. The right fruit tree cut always takes place in summer. In the spring, during the flowering period, a fruit woodcut is added, which you have to do as described above.
It is also important that the tree gets a hollow crown over time, that is, no central shoot, but has three or four scaffold branches. In summer, remove the shoots that grow strongly inwards and all too close together. The three to four branches that form the framework of the tree, on the other hand, you only have to cut back a little now and then.