Pruning Fruit Trees in this Crazy Weather

Asked January 31, 2016, 11:21 PM EST

I have a peach tree that needs to be pruned. I've been waiting for it to be cold enough for the tree to go dormant. However, with this screwy weather, it finally got cold enough that I thought I could prune, but now its going to be in the upper 50s all this week. Can I prune the fruit trees now or is there a different time that would be better? Note: peach tree is 5 years old and does produce fruit

Bucks County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Penn State has a great publication titled "Fruit Production for the Home Gardner",

which explains in detail how to grow fruit in Pennsylvania. Here is the link:

http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/fphg

As stated on page 90 and 91, "The best time to prune is from just before bloom to 2 weeks after petal fall. Do not prune the trees from January through March, and do not prune before budswell.

Stone fruit trees are very susceptible to a disease called cytospora canker. If pruned in the winter, the trees cannot protect the pruning wounds from infection by this disease. The exception is sweet cherries, which are best pruned after they have fruited or in early July".

So in summary, waiting until your peach tree has bloomed and then pruning at that time is a good plan for the tree's health.