Advise on pruning my 15 gallon Peach Tree


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I just bought (2) 15 gal peach trees from a local nursery. I know enough pruning to be dangerous. My questions are: 1. Can I
prune before I plant the trees or should I prune once they are planted. 2. Nursery said they pruned them but I am skeptical. I know how I would prune a barefoot or one that's in a 5 gal container, but first time with one in a 15 gal. container.

Thanks, tc1putt
 

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I just bought (2) 15 gal peach trees from a local nursery. I know enough pruning to be dangerous. My questions are: 1. Can I
prune before I plant the trees or should I prune once they are planted. 2. Nursery said they pruned them but I am skeptical. I know how I would prune a barefoot or one that's in a 5 gal container, but first time with one in a 15 gal. container.

Thanks, tc1putt
If you are going to plant the tree soon go ahead and prune it. If not leave it alone but prune before it starts to bud. The main part of the pruning process has already been done as the upright main trunk has been cut. The finished product should look like a wineglass. Your tree has way too many limbs. I would remove all of the limbs up to the white tag. Then I would remove all but the largest 3 limbs up to the top green ribbon. Then I would remove all of the small limbs, leaving the largest while trying to leave the largest limbs between 90 degrees and 120 degrees apart. Do not plant the tree any deeper than it is now as the graft and root flare are showing just like it should. Please update your profile letting us all know your location and hardiness zone. This will make any further questions much easier to answer.
 
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Thanks Chuck - very helpful. I assume you are referring to the larger Elberta Peach. As to the small one, Nectar White Freestone, same approach? We live in Roseville, Ca. zone 9. When I ordered these trees, I thought they would have been pruned properly to promote growth but not as tall as these two are. I have a small back yard. When I bought a 5 gallon tree, I chopped it basically in half to keep the size down so I would not have to have a ladder to pick or prune later on. Terry
 
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Thanks Chuck - very helpful. I assume you are referring to the larger Elberta Peach. As to the small one, Nectar White Freestone, same approach? We live in Roseville, Ca. zone 9. When I ordered these trees, I thought they would have been pruned properly to promote growth but not as tall as these two are. I have a small back yard. When I bought a 5 gallon tree, I chopped it basically in half to keep the size down so I would not have to have a ladder to pick or prune later on. Terry
All peaches are the same except for the chilling hours. All will produce many more peaches than the tree can sustain, thus small peaches if not pruned. The pruning is the same and should be done every year for the best production of good big peaches. The only caveat is when you have a late frost or not enough chilling hours or too many chilling hours with an early warm spell. Then you won't have many or any peaches at all. When the buds form in late winter/early spring spray with neem oil over the entire tree and after fruit set spray with a spinosad based product.
 
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Thanks Again, very helpful. You will probably hear from me again after I prune, I will send you a picture or two.

Regards, Terry (tc1putt)
 

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