Pruning Overgrown Peach Trees- The Complete Guide


It’s completely okay for a home grower to start twitching if the plants on his/her lawn are overgrown. Apart from this, peach trees are quite easy to grow and if you spend a little time on them, they will give you the best fruit.

A part of the maintenance, pruning overgrown peach trees is very important. If you are a new grower and have a bunch of questions like why, when, how, and so on, no need to worry anymore.

This 100% fool-proof article will answer all the questions, just stick to the last.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Photo of a bunch of peaches on a tree

Why Should You Prune an Overgrown Peach Tree?

As you are reading this article, you must be concerned about the health of your peach tree. The performance of this plant depends upon annual pruning, irrigation, fertilization, and pest management.

Yes, there are several compelling reasons to prune a peach tree. Such as:

  • Pruning will create a strong framework that is able to support large yields.
  • Pruning aids in balancing fruit production and vegetative growth.
  • It also controls the height and spread of a tree and allows an easier harvesting.
  • Pruning removes any diseased or broken branches.

Overall, you will find it really helpful. But you need to know when you should prune your peach tree and when it’s better not to do so.

When Is the Perfect Time to Prune Your Peach Tree?

If you are going to prune the tree in very cold weather, stop! You should never prune your peach tree in winter, as this can reduce the tree’s cold-hardiness and total output of fruit.

So, when is the best time for pruning? Well, it’s in early spring. Yes, you should prune the tree after the last major cold snap of winter.

About the best month, February is considered the best month for pruning. Yet, you should adjust this time based on your local weather. Worth noting, avoid pruning while the trees are blooming otherwise it can negatively affect the new growth.

But there are several growths you can remove any time of the year. We will break this sentence into pieces later.

Things You Will Need

Before going to the step-step processes, let’s have a look at what tools or equipment you are going to need for pruning the tree.

Now, Let’s move on to the steps you’ll go through.

How To Prune an Overgrown Peach Tree?

Well, once you’re done with managing or purchasing the things needed, let’s go through the steps below:

Step 1: Remove Dead, Damaged and Diseased Branches

We told before that some of the growths you can remove any time of the year. So, this step can be followed at any time. You can remove:

  • Fungus-infected or dead branches
  • Suckers (the shoots that arise near the roots of the tree)
  • Water shoots that grow from the top branches
  • Dried fruits that still remaining from the previous time’s harvest

You can use a long-handled pruner or a pruning saw to remove them.

Step 2: Trim the Tall Branches

Trim the ends of the tall branches using a pruner. Hence, the intention is to keep the tree at a harvestable height. If you prune without a ladder, that means cutting the branches at a height that you’ll be able to reach from the ground.

Step 3: Give Your Tee a ‘V’-Shaped Profile

How to do this? Well, all you need to do is to select 3-5 main upward-growing branches along the outside of the tree. Then, use a pruning saw or a pruner to remove any competing large branches.

Pay more attention to remove branches in the center of the tree and those growing downward or horizontal. The intention is to create a tree with a ‘V’-shaped profile and an open center.

Step 4: Remove Small, Spindly Branches Growing Toward Interior

If there are any small, spindly branches that grow from the main branches inward, prune them too. Don’t forget to remove any shoots that point straight up or down, so that they won’t allow the peach tree to properly grow into the wanted V shape.

Step 5: Cut Back Remaining Red Shoots

Cut back the new red shoots to a length of around 18 inches, use a pruner to make it happen. Remember to make the cuts at an outward-facing bud.

As we said before, don’t forget to cut the suckers at the base of your tree. But it will be better if you just pull them off with your hand (if they’re small enough). Because they are less likely to regrow if they are pulled rather than cut.

Step 6: Plan for the Future Growth

In case, there is no new growth within reach on a tall branch, you can remove the whole branch. If you regularly prune the following years, be sure that there will be plenty of new growth lower on the tree where you can’t reach it.

Pruning Overgrown Peach Trees – FAQs

Question: How will I understand if I’m over-pruning my tree? And what’ll happen if I over-prune?

Answer: Try your best not to over-prune your peach tree. It will reduce fruit production and hinder the tree’s growth.

And yes, if you remove more than ⅓ of the tree’s volume at a time, it will be considered as over-pruning.

Question: How much I should prune my peach tree annually?

Answer: About 40%.

Question: How much trimming will not result in killing my tree?

Answer: More than 25% of a tree’s canopy at one time can kill the tree.


Congratulations, you now know each and every necessary information about pruning overgrown peach trees.

Don’t forget to wear gloves while working with the equipment. Try to look after your peach trees throughout the year and be careful about the perfect timing of pruning them.

Go for it now, happy camping!

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