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Pruning Peaches to the Open Center System

Pruning the peach

I'm such a novice pruner, having only dabbled in it for the last three years and only really seen the results of my pruning this year.  I figure in about a decade, I'll feel like I've got my feet under me.  In the meantime, I cut and hope.

I'm pruning all of my fruit trees to one of two forms --- the central leader system (apples, pears, cherry) or the open center system (peaches, nectarines.)  Since I pruned most of my apple trees in February, I'm focusing on the open center system here, which is a lot more difficult for the novice, in my opinion.  The purpose is to keep the tree short and spreading so that the maximum amount of sunlight reaches the leaves and fruit (and the fruit is easy to pick.)  Unfortunately, this pruning technique goes directly counter to a tree's natural growth system --- straight up.  Read more....

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