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How to Care for a Peach Tree

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

Peach trees produce a sweet, delicious fruit that is a favorite of millions of people, and the trees make great additions to gardens. It is important to remember, though, that in order to produce a high yield of fruit, peach trees need a lot of care and attention. It is best to grow them in warmer climates, as cold areas with spring frosts will most likely kill your peach tree after your hard work.

Make sure your peach tree is growing in a well-drained area with sandy or loamy soil. Other fruit trees should be at least 15 to 20 feet away from the peach tree, and if you are planting it on your own, it is best to plant it in the spring so it will be strong by winter.

Fertilize the young peach tree with 1 pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer about a month and a half after planting. In the tree's second year, fertilize the tree with 3/4 pound in the spring and then again in the summer. Once the tree has begun providing fruit, it is not very necessary to fertilize the peach tree, although it can be done if you desire.

Paint the peach tree trunk white to prevent winter sunscald, and disease. In the winter, remove the mulch from around the tree base and let the grass grow up to it. This will prevent rodent attraction.

Make sure to prune the peach tree correctly: Use pruning shears to remove diseased or dead branches, along with any branches that are growing awkwardly (like straight up or down). Keep in mind that peach trees need more dormant season pruning than other fruit trees, so each year when the blooms are heavy, trim back the longer fruit branches to prevent branches from breaking. Plus, the fruit is only produced by the lateral buds on 1-year-old branches. When the tree turns about 6 years old, remove all the wood produced in the previous 2 years to help restore all new growth in the tree.

Become well-versed on when to pick the peaches off the tree. If there is any green on the peach, do not pick it until it is all gone. When picking peaches, they should easily come off the branch with a firm twist of the wrist. If it doesn't pull off, let it stay on the branch for a longer period of time. Be gentle with peaches, as they bruise easily, and store them in a cool place.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • White paint