It is still not too late to prune fruit trees for 2021. However, this is a task that should be done very soon. Use clean, sharp tools that are meant for pruning. Here are some principles to keep in mind while pruning fruit trees.
Pruning is about light management. A well-shaped and pruned tree will allow all leaves on the tree to receive direct sunlight through at least part of the day. The shade tree casts on itself as its own worst enemy.
Consider where the fruit buds are on the trees you’re pruning and ensure you do not remove all the fruit buds. Apple and pear flowers are at the ends of branches, apricots and cherries have flower buds to the side of short spurs, and peach flower buds are on the sides of year-old growth.
Prune to maintain good fruiting wood. Strong, well-illuminated spurs will produce better fruit than weaker spindly growth. The best peaches grow on shoots that are more than a foot in length and a roughly pencil size in diameter.
Fruit trees that are older than about 25 years are best replaced then renewed. Newer rootstocks and cultivars are of higher quality than older materials.