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Peaches, nectarines and apricots

These are best trained as a fan against a warm wall. Pruning is time consuming and rather complicated, but the object is to encourage the production of new wood to fruit the following year. Peaches bear fruit on year-old wood, so the aim is to replace the wood that has fruited with new growths. Once you have built up a framework of branches by cutting back new growth by half in winter and tying in suitable resultant shoots in summer, you then pinch them out at 4—6 leaves in summer. There will be a new shoot or shoots growing out at the base. The fruit is borne on the pinched shoot the following season, remove this shoot in winter and tie in one of the new basal growths to take its place. Repeat the procedure each year. Treat nectarines similarly.

Apricots bear fruit on spurs as well as on one-and two-year-old wood, so do not remove unwanted laterals, as with peaches, but cut them back to 2 buds to encourage the formation of spurs.

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