How to Prune & Care for Peach Trees


A native fruit of Asia, peach trees thrive in many areas of the United States. Like various other types of fruit trees, peach trees require moderate to mild climates to survive and flourish. Most varieties of fruit trees grow well in hardiness zones five through eight. Enjoy fresh fruit from your own peach trees by encouraging healthy growth. Keep them looking attractive and producing abundant amounts of juicy fruits with periodic pruning sessions.

Step 1

Water your peach trees regularly to supply necessary moisture. Give your peach trees a thorough soaking when the top 2 or 3 inches of soil show signs of dryness. Allowing the topsoil to dry slightly before watering encourages a healthy root system in your peach trees.

Step 2

Prune your peach trees to encourage the formation of strong branches and healthy fruits. Use pruning shears to cut new trees to a height of about 28 inches after planting them. Prune the side shoots to leave only the central branch. This drastic pruning will persuade vigorous, open growth as your tree matures.

Step 3

Fertilize your peach trees with 10-10-10 fertilizer, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Apply 1/2 lb. of fertilizer about one week after planting new trees and repeat this application one month later. Care for your mature peach trees by fertilizing them early in the spring.

Step 4

Trim away crowded inside branches early in the spring after the tree's first year of growth. Wait until mid-February to March to prune your peach trees. Cut out inner crowded branches near their attachment to form a form a shape that resembles the letter V, open in the center with a few branches spreading outward.

Step 5

Cut out dead growth and branches that no longer fruit in older specimens. Place a piece of colored wire around branches with minimal amounts of fruit during the summer season. This will help you find the unproductive branches in the springtime. Prune off the marked branches in the early spring before new growth appears on your tree.

Step 6

Look for dark growths on the bark of your peach trees, leaves with numerous holes and rotting fruit or fruit with dark, pitted holes---all signs of pest damage. Peach trees frequently fall prey to peach twig borers, fruit moths and fruit flies, and you may see small bugs, such as aphids and mites, crawling along the undersides of the leaves or eating the fruits. Apply a pre-bloom spray to your peach trees on a calm day early in the year to eliminate mites, aphids and scale insects.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Pruning shears
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Colored wire
  • Insecticide spray


  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Peaches and Nectarines in the Home Landscape
  • Clemson University: Pruning Peaches & Nectarines
  • "Organic Gardening", Art Antonelli, Ph.D., 2008

Who Can Help

  • Washington State University: Pruning Peaches and Nectarines
Keywords: grow peach trees, prune peach trees, fruit tree care

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.