Beautiful spring blossoms and sweet, juicy fruit make peaches and nectarines favorites for the home garden. The trees look alike and have the same cultural needs; the main difference is that the fruit of peaches is fuzzy skinned, while that of nectarines is smooth.
A standard peach or nectarine grows rapidly to 25 feet high and wide, but pruning can keep trees to 10 to 12 feet. Mature trees need more pruning than other fruit trees do. They produce fruit on 1-year-old branches; severe annual pruning renews the fruiting wood.
Cut back some branches by one-third, others by two-thirds, and the remainder nearly all the way. Keep the center open by removing any vigorous shoots growing through the middle.