The last couple of days, post bike ride, I have been culling fruit. Every year our crop gets bigger (thanks, Phil); last year we had the first apricots and a lot of peaches, some apples and no pears. This year it looks like there will be a ton of peaches, a good crop of apricots and apples, and some pears. We are still enjoying frozen peaches in our smoothies after every bike ride.
It is tough to cull fruit because a laden tree looks great at this point, but there is no way a tree can give enough energy to bring it to size and ripen it all. So, stuff needs to come off. The book says that fruit spacing should be every six inches, at this stage I am going with 4 inches. There may still be a wind storm that blows fruit off the tree or some other weather related event, and the birds will get their fair share no matter what methods I devise. Last year I culled the peaches twice and that worked well, and it provided some small, unripe fruit to the delight of the cotton tails. Note the nibbled bucket when all the fruit was eaten (plastic pieces all over the orchard).
Am I hearing the tree go "ahh" in relief when half its fruit is removed? I think I do, otherwise I may lack the courage to persist. But it is worth doing now to not end up with tiny fruit with a full-size pit.