I live in Pinckney with a peach tree and a black cherry tree. The cherry tree lies on the bank of a canal and the peach tree lies in between two buildings. This year, I had an over abundance of peaches, and very few cherries. Both trees are over six years old. How and when should I prune these trees to obtain fruit next year. Also, what type and when should i fertilize them?
Livingston County Michigan
You can reduce tree height by cutting to a strong upright limb. The remaining strong limb helps to prevent strong regrowth in the top of the tree. You can promote light penetration into the tree by removing some limbs completely. Stubbing one and two year old shoots here and there on the tree helps to invigorate the area to develop young shoots and help to bring the growth closer to the scaffold limbs. See the pictures for some ideas. Most pruning should be done from mid March to early April. Nitrogen fertilizing is generally done in March / April. Some prefer to put half the fertilizer on in early spring and the other half around or shortly after bloom if it looks like there will be a decent crop.
Most peach varieties are self fertile. However, most sweet cherries need a nearby compatible variety to provide pollen, and visa versa to produce a decent crop.