How to Grow & Keep Peach Trees

Overview

The peach tree is a low-growing, deciduous fruit tree that can reach heights up to 25 feet with an equal spread. With a rounded crown, this tree develops dark green foliage with bloom colors that range from white to red. The fleshy, round drupe reaches no more than 6 inches in length and forms into a juicy yellowish fruit with a reddish blush. It is not difficult to grow and care for a peach tree.

Step 1

Dig a hole for the tree that is about twice the size of the root system. Position the tree in the center of the hole and gently spread the roots evenly throughout the hole. Fill the hole so that soil meets the graft union line. Irrigate the tree immediately after planting.

Step 2

Irrigate the peach tree to provide approximately one to two inches of water each week. Adjust the irrigation levels for periods of rain and drought. Continue this irrigation schedule during the peach tree's first two years, reducing the amount of water, as desired, thereafter.

Step 3

Thin the branches of the peach tree to promote larger, higher-quality fruit production. Use sharp, sterile shears to complete angular pruning cuts. Thin the fruit within six weeks of bloom when frost is no longer a threat. Space the fruit approximately six to eight inches apart.

Step 4

Prune the peach tree annually to control the size of the tree, promote light penetration and develop a strong framework. Prune the tree in the early spring after the final frost.

Step 5

Trim branches and stems to promote an open-vase form with one central leader. Remove any dead, wilted or diseased branches to redirect the tree's energy.

Step 6

Fertilize the peach tree twice each year, beginning about six weeks after planting. Use a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 combination. Distribute the fertilizer evenly around the tree. Keep the fertilizer approximately 1 foot from the base of the tree to prevent root burn. Irrigate the fertilizer thoroughly into the soil.

Step 7

Keep the area under the peach tree's canopy free of weeds and debris. Pull invasive weeds from the area by hand. Make sure to pull the entire root from the soil to prevent re-growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Shovel

References

  • National Gardening Association: Peach Care
  • University of Georgia Cooperative Extension: Peaches and Nectarines
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Training & Pruning Fruit Trees
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Young Peach
Keywords: plant peaches, peach tree care, prune peach trees

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional and freelance writer. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994. Smith draws on her business background to write articles, and her work has appeared in a variety of online outlets. She holds a degree in business from Cleveland State University.