- Hand pruners, either bypass and anvil, are used to cut any stems smaller than a 3/4-inch diameter. Bypass pruners have curved blades that allow for quick, clean and easy cutting. Anvil pruners have straight-edged blades that tend to crush stems as they cut, making them not the best option for pruning peach trees.
- Lopping shears make it possible to cut or lop off branches that are between 3/4 and 1-3/4 inches thick. The long handles provide ample leverage for cutting. Look for loppers with curved blades and rubber bumpers between the handles. Both of these modifications will minimize arm fatigue while pruning.
- When you can't cut a peach tree branch with loppers, a pruning saw with a fine or coarse-toothed blade will work nicely. These saws can be pole mounted to provide extra reach for higher-up branches. Cut branches up to 2-1/2-inches in diameter with a pruning saw. Use a fine-toothed saw for smaller branches and a coarse-toothed saw for branches more than 3 inches in diameter. Pruning saw blades can be curved or straight and come in many sizes.
- Cut the higher-up branches, under 2 inches in diameter, with a pole pruner. The pole pruner can provide up to a 12-ft. extension. If you don't have a ladder or the situation makes ladder use impossible, use the pole pruner. It has blades at the end that cut when you pull on a rope or chain. You have to get the branch between the blades before pulling. Use extra caution if cutting branches near power lines.
- Any branches more than 3 inches in diameter can be removed with a chainsaw. Gas-powered chainsaws are handy in remote areas and electric ones are useful in the home peach orchard. Never use a chainsaw above shoulder height or on a ladder. Always wear safety clothing and gear during use.
Pruning Tool Maintenance
- Always wash pruning tool blades, teeth and chains after every use with soap and water to remove tree sap and dirt. Disinfect them with a 70, 91 or 99 percent rubbing alcohol concentrate. Immediately oil the washed and disinfected blades, teeth and chains to prevent rust. Have a professional sharpen your blades on a regular basis.