Peaches are not difficult to grow, and the rewards of fresh, juicy peaches are well worth the effort. Standard peach trees grow to 15 feet tall. Semi-dwarf trees grow from 6 to 8 feet tall and dwarf trees grow to 4 feet high. Dwarf trees produce full-size fruit but not as many as semi-dwarf or standard trees. All peach trees take well to pruning. Charlie Ryrie, the author of "The Country Garden," suggests growing peaches against a wall as fans or espalier.
Planting the Peach Tree
Place your tree along the sunny side of the wall. Fruit trees require six to eight hours of sunlight to blossom and set fruit. In cold-winter areas, the south or west side of the wall receives enough sun and will retain heat. Peach trees will bloom earlier and be less susceptible to frost damage.
Dig a hole three times as big as the peach tree's container. Add half as much compost or organic material to the soil removed from the hole. Add fertilizer per package directions. Mix well. Refill the hole until it's only as deep as the container is tall.
Plant the peach tree in the hole, adjusting the soil level until the root ball is covered with 2 inches of soil. Water well. Add additional soil if necessary.
Attach hooks to the wall every 2 feet up the wall. How they are attached depends on what the wall is made of. The hooks should be 8 feet apart in width, or 4 feet on either side of the trunk of the peach tree. Run wires against the wall parallel to the ground. Each wire should be attached to two hooks.
Remove any branches in front of the tree or in back of it.
Select five branches. The first branch should be the main trunk. Tie the second two branches to the wires so they are at a 45-degree angle from the main trunk. Tie the third set of branches to the wires at a 45-degree angle from the first two branches. The peach tree's branches should be splayed out in the shape of a fan.
Clip the tips of the branches when they reach the ends of the wire. Peaches fruit on second-year growth. As the tree grows, select five to seven new branches to be the fruiting branches next year. Remove all other branches.
Remove any branches that are in the front and back of the tree. Select four branches on either side of the main trunk. Each set of two branches should be at about the same height on either side of the trunk. The sets of branches should be about a foot apart.
Prune all other branches. Tie the remaining eight branches (two on each side of the trunk) to the wires so they cross the wall horizontally. The branches should be at a 90-degree angle from the trunk. New branches are easier to work with than established branches.
Select eight new branches to be the fruiting branches for the following year as the tree grows.
About this Author
Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.