Peach trees should be moved or transplanted during the winter when they are dormant. By moving the trees during dormancy the chance of transplant shock is greatly reduced. Also, the roots have a chance to get established before the heat of summer begins. In areas where the ground freezes in the winter, it is best to transplant peach trees in fall before the ground freezes but after the peach tree has naturally lost all its leaves. In the south, late December or January is the best time to move peach trees from one location to another.
Soak the root base of the peach tree with water 24 hours before attempting to move the tree. The stream of water from the water hose should be the width of a pencil and applied for 1-2 hours to thoroughly soak the root base. Also, prune the peach tree that is to be moved back by one-third. Prune any scaffold limbs slightly above a leaf bud that is located on the outside of the branch so the new growth is directed outward.
Push the blade of the shovel straight down in a circle 2-3 feet from the trunk depending on how big the peach tree is that your are transplanting. You will feel the shovel cutting through the surface roots as you dig down around the base. Remember, it is best to take as much of the root base as you can when you transplant the tree to avoid problems such as transplant shock at a later date.
Dig down at an angle as deeply as possible toward the center of the root base to detach the roots from the ground that are located under the tree. Take your time and do as little damage as possible to the root base of the peach tree you are moving.
Pull the peach tree from the ground as you dig down and detach the roots from the soil and lay on a tarp so you can drag or carry the tree to the new location without disturbing the roots. Replant the tree as quickly as possible so the roots are not exposed to the drying air for any length of time.
Dig a new hole for the tree. The new hole should be deep and wide enough so the roots are not crowded and the tree is planted at the exact same level it was in the previous location. Add water to the planting hole as you add dirt when planting to avoid creating any air pockets around the roots. Add a one-two inch layer of mulch over the root base leaving a one inch gap between the mulch and the trunk of the tree to prevent mildew from spreading from the mulch to the tree. Keep root base of the tree moist until established, then water as needed. Do not fertilize until the tree is actively growing in the spring.