The Peach tree got it’s first prune today. The maiden whip that we planted a few weeks ago needed to have its formative pruning before the flowers emerged. There were plenty of branches to work with. I was looking for two strong branches on either side, at around the same height from the ground, to make the two main arms of the final fan. After that all the other branches would be pruned to one bud, including the leader (main branch in the middle). Then the two chosen branches were cut back to one upward-facing growth bud (ie, not a flower bud).
This is the tree after its been pruned. As you can see I’ve attached two canes to the wires and tied in the branches to them. The canes should ideally be around 30 degrees. However, because the branches were quite stiff I didn’t want to pull them down too far and risk breaking them. So I plan to inch the canes down to the right angle over the summer months. The tree started with around 12 flower buds – now it has none, due to the prune. But that’s okay because we’re only expecting to have peaches in the 3rd or 4th year of growth anyway. Which.co.uk do a nice visual pdf on how to prune a Peach