The North Carolina peach tree, Prunus persica (L.) batsch, was originally brought to the states from Spain in the 1500s. Now more than 200 varieties of peaches are grown in the United States. These varieties are available for commercial and home use and can produced excellent fruit when properly cared for. Peach trees can be planted in North Carolina between late fall and early spring, during their dormant period, with optimal planting time being late December to early January.
Choose a location with good air drainage in the winter to avoid frost damage. Good air drainage occurs when cold air is allowed to travel unblocked downhill into a valley.
Select a variety of peach to plant. For North Carolina, the peach trees must have at least a 750-hour chilling requirement, due to North Carolina's long winter. To see an extensive list of recommended varieties, visit the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service website.
Obtain a detailed soil pH test from the county extension center. Carefully follow the instructions for how to obtain the samples. The county extension office will test for both pH and nematode populations and provide you with a list of the recommended additives for optimizing the soil.
Open the tree's package, after obtaining it from the nursery, and check the roots. Soak the tree in water for 24 hours before planting by placing the roots in a bucket filled with water.
Dig the hole for the peach tree at a depth that will allow the roots and one to two inches of the trunk to be completely covered with soil. Use pruning shears to prune any damaged, twisted or excessively long roots before planting the tree. Place the tree into the hole and fill the hole in with soil.
Water the tree. This will firm up the soil by getting rid of any air pockets. If the soil sinks, then add additional soil on top and press it in firmly with your foot. Never fertilize a new tree because it will burn the roots.
Fertilize the tree after its first growing season, according to your local county extension office's recommended fertilizer levels, as every area required different amounts of nutrients.
Control weeds by either mulching around the base of the tree or planting grass around the base.