Elberta peach trees (Prunus persica) are smallish fruit trees that belong in the family Rosaceae which includes roses and nectarines. Trees can reach a height of 25 feet at maturity, with a width of eight to 20 feet. Elberta peach trees will grow well in USDA planting zone 5 through northern regions of zone 9. As with most peach trees, this variety will require a little extra care to remain healthy and produce good quantities of fruit. The tree produces large, sweet, freestone fruits in late summer.
Select an area in your landscape to grow the elberta peach tree that receives full sun conditions throughout the day. The tree requires five to six hours of direct sunlight each day to grow best.
Grow the peach tree in soil that is loose, drains very well and does not have a tendency to retain water. Amend the planting site with compost, working the organic substance one foot deep into the existing soil before planting the tree. Apply a fresh application of organic material around the planting site in spring.
Select an area that is large enough to house the elberta peach tree without interference from structures, or other vegetation. The tree requires adequate air circulation for proper growth.
Water the elberta peach tree regularly, keeping the growing site moist but not flooded. The tree is not drought tolerant. Elberta peach trees will develop root rot and die if the planting site is prone to flooding conditions.
Prune the tree during the first two years to develop a strong structure. Trim away any dead wood or broken branches. Make your cut right below the dead wood on the green portion of the limb. Trim off any branches that are crossing. Allow the center section of the tree to have two to three main branches to keep it open, pruning off extras.
Spray the tree with Bacillus thuringiensis to control tent caterpillars and prune out and destroy their nests. Spray infected areas of the elberta peach tree with horticultural oil, if scale becomes a problem. Treat the tree with an insecticide designed for use on elberta peach trees, if other insects or diseases become a problem.
Fertilize the elberta peach tree in early spring, summer and fall. Apply an extra application of phosphorus to young peach trees to help them develop a strong root system. Apply the phosphorus per the directions on the package at the same time you apply the regular fertilizer.
Things You Will Need
- Pruning tools
- Bacillus thuringiensis
- Horticultural oil
- Keeping the elberta peach tree healthy by fertilizing and watering regularly, will cut down on diseases or insects infecting the tree.
- Do not excessively prune the peach tree, as it will stimulate the tree to produce internal sprouts. The center section of the elberta peach tree needs to be airy and well ventilated.