Peach forming and cutting.
Peaches, like apricots, are prone to freezing in our climate. For this reason, the bushy form seems to be the best form for them, where the trunk splits into limbs close to the ground (Lynx.).
Lynx. Natural shape of the peach crown.
Trees in gardens and small plantations can then be at least partially protected against frost by forming a mound of earth around the tree., which covers the lowest part of the crown. This part can be easily covered with straw, haulm or other insulating material. If a cold winter occurs, only the branches sticking out above the mound freeze, while the roots of the limbs survive. After cutting off the frozen branches, you can re-crown the shoots, which break out easily and grow very quickly.
Picture. The crown of a peach bush sheltered from frost with a mound of earth.
A distinctive feature of peaches is the formation of flower buds on young annuals. On uncut trees, such shoots grow mainly around the crown circumference. As trees age, the fruiting zone moves further and further from the center of the crown to its periphery, where most of the young shoots grow.
In countries that grow peaches in commercial orchards, special methods of forming and cutting peaches are used to achieve even fruiting throughout the volume of the crown. Peaches are usually carried in the form of a kettle with five branches or in the form of a palmette with three pairs of branches.. Branches are cut annually using the rejuvenating method, but only a few annual shoots are left, completely removing two-year-old or older shoots.
Picture. Peach in cauldron form in a commercial orchard in Hungary: a - before cutting; b – after cutting.
The molding and cutting methods used in southern Europe are of little use to our peach growing conditions. It is not worth introducing artificial forms of crowns, because the life span of trees is short. A very intense cut used elsewhere, it poses a risk of tree infection by bark and wood diseases. The formation of crowns and their subsequent cutting must be simplified by necessity.
Planted annual trees must be pruned in the spring, to facilitate their adoption. Peaches do not tolerate transplanting well and therefore the pruning in the first year after planting must be strong. We perform cutting in spring a little later than cutting other types of trees. It is best to do this at the end of April, when the development of buds begins and frost-damaged shoots can already be recognized. The formation of a bushy crown takes only two years. In the first year, we leave the guide and 4 symmetrically distributed side shoots, the lowest of which should be several centimeters above the ground. The left side shoots are cut very short, upper for 2-3 stitches, and the bottom for 4-6 stitches. Shoots selected for boughs should be spaced approx 20 cm apart (Lynx.).
Figure on the left. Strongly prune the peach after planting, leaving the guide and four very shortened shoots.
Figure on the right. Peach pruning in the second year after planting.
The remaining shoots should be cut close to the conductor, and shorten the conductor itself at a height of 70-80 cm from the ground.
In the second year after planting the trees, we leave two or three more side shoots at a distance on the guide 60 cm from the lower floor. Above these shoots, the guide can be removed. Left in the previous year 4 lower twigs can be trimmed at a distance 80 cm from the trunk, to spread out.