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How to Grow Elberta Semi-Dwarf Peach Trees

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017

The Elberta Semi-Dwarf Peach tree is a popular self-pollinating fruit tree due to its juicy, sweet peaches. The tree is also a lovely addition to a yard, with purplish-white flowers in the early spring and a heavy crop of peaches in the late summer. Despite being a somewhat adaptable tree, the Elberta Semi-Dwarf is not ideal for all climates and needs certain conditions in order to produce the bumper crop of fruit that it can offer at its full potential.

Plant your Elberta Semi-Dwarf Peach tree in fertile, well-drained soil. The exact soil composition is not important, because these trees will flourish in most soil types. Choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct, full sunlight every day.

Space your Elberta Peach trees to allow for an 8- to 10-foot spread. These trees will grow up to 14 feet in height.

Water your trees regularly. Elberta Peach trees are not drought-tolerant, so water them generously at least once per week and more often as needed during dry conditions in the summer. Apply a commercial fertilizer for fruit trees.

Prune and thin your trees to retain a certain size and maintain health. The Elberta Peach tree grows fast, so you’ll need to prune the tree liberally at least once each year, removing old buds and thinning non-fruiting branches.

Harvest the peaches when they ripen in August or early September. Harvest can occur as early as mid-July in warmer climates. These trees are heavy producers, so you’ll need to be prepared to do some canning around harvest time.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Hose or watering can
  • Fertilizer


  • Elberta Semi-Dwarfs are slow growers, but if you want to increase the tree's growth, try removing half of the fruit crop from the tree in May. This will help the tree itself and foliage to grow, instead of putting its energy and nutrients into producing fruit.


  • Don't expect your semi-dwarf peach tree to grow well if your area frequently gets late frosts in the spring. Although the Elberta is hardy down to -10 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, these trees tend to bloom early.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing with a nitrogen-based compound. The excess nitrogen will increase foliage growth while decreasing fruit production.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.