The pruning for fruit consists in shortening back the laterals which had been nailed in at the disbudding, or summer pruning, their length depending on their individual vigour and the luxuriance of the tree.
In the latter form old trees, the summer pruning of which has been neglected, are apt to acquire an undue projection from the wall and become scraggy, to avoid which a portion of the old spurs should be cut out annually.
The tips of unripened wood should be cut back about one-third their length at an outwardly placed bud, and the chief pruning thereafter required will be to cut away inwardly directed shoots which cross or crowd each other and tend to confuse the centre of the tree.
They may be produced, by taking care, during the summer pruning or disbudding, to preserve a number of the little shoots emitted by the yearly wood, only pinching off the minute succulent points.
Commence pruning and nailing.
Apart, or even more, according to the growth intended before thinning, which should be begun as soon as the boughs begin to overspread much; little or no pruning is needed beyond the careful removal of dead branches.
Summer Pruning should be performed while the shoots are yet young and succulent, so that they may in most cases be nipped off with the thumb-nail.
P. alba suffers much from the ravages of wood-eating larvae, and also from fungoid growths, especially where the branches have been removed by pruning or accident.
Proceed with pruning and nailing wall-trees.
The pruning and training of the trees in the peach house do not differ materially from the methods practised out of doors.