It is usually the case that nursery trees as received for planting are not in proper shape for the orchard. Some slight changes can be made at time of setting out, but the main pruning should be given after one year's growth. If a young tree has too high a top, is forked, or is too high and slim, it can be shaped the second year, taking care to cut so as to leave buds for forming an evenly shaped and balanced top. The peach will bear more pruning when set than other orchard fruits. It is common in peach-growing sections to cut the tops as closely as shown in Fig. 6. In the illustration the stem is too long, but this is changed by allowing buds to start lower down the next season. A main fault with nursery-grown apple-trees is usually that the top is too high and the stem too slim. The needed pruning to start a properly shaped top is shown at Fig. 7.
Fig. 6. - Young peach-tree as pruned for setting in the South. (After Bai ley.)
Fig. 7. - The dotted line in A shows where the cut is made, and B shows the same tree after starting growth.
The cherry and plum do not stand severe pruning after they attain some size. Hence it is important to start the top properly when transplanting.