After doing a bit of research on peach tree care, we spent the other morning pruning the neglected peach tree. The previous owner told me that the tree is producing, and that she made a cobbler last year, but she seemed a little hesitant, which makes me think that the yield wasn't that high or that the fruit wasn't that great (in which case making a cobbler would make sense). It turns out stone fruit trees can be pretty high maintenance, but that proper pruning and thinning encourages better fruit.
We pruned all the dead branches and any water sprouts (little shoots of new growth that grow straight up - these little branches have no peaches, and they guzzle up nutrients), and thinned the fruit. Peaches naturally thin themselves a little bit during the "June Drop," which littered our yard with peaches, but they usually need extra thinning to ensure that branches don't get too heavy and there are enough nutrients to go around. Neglecting to thin your fruit can result in small, hard and flavorless peaches.
Hopefully our hard work will pay us in delicious peaches. We'll see!