Yeah, from everything I’ve read, peach trees should grow like weeds the first few years. I planted a Redhaven and Coralstar last year, so they’ve had two seasons to grow. Both were 7/16" caliper bare roots on Lovell from Cummins. I headed them back at about 30" when they were planted.
The RH is maybe 3ft tall with several branches, and have some pretty sad looking leaves. The CS is a bit under 4ft tall, and looks a bit better with some nice branches.
My opinion is that they are not in a prime location on the farm. I had a soil sample done this year, and it is very acidic, pH about 5.0, and low nutrient levels. The soil is decent, a bit rocky, but a good loamy mix. I wish I would have done the soil sample last year, but never thought of it until this year. I would have amended and limed the plot if I knew then.
This year in June, I did add lime around each tree, and also gave them about a pound of 10-10-10, spread out along the drip line. They seemed to like it, soon they put on some good foliage and grew some new branches out. But, around August they seemed to run out of steam. I suspect the heavy rains we got this summer may have washed out the ferts too soon. I didn’t want to give them any more fert after August, because I was worried about that interfering with them going into dormancy too late.
I have 11 apple trees in that same plot, most have done well, maybe 2 or 3 have lagged behind the others. I read apples can handle a more acidic soil than peaches, so maybe that’s why they did better for me.
I have the rest of my fruit trees (6 apple, 5 pear, 2 peaches), down by the barn, and they seem to be doing better as a whole compared to the other plot. The barn area soil used to be pasture land for cows many years ago, and a horse up to a couple yeaes ago. So, it is a richer soil due to ‘natural ferts’. Plus, the soil is less rocky. The pH is about 6, and is high in P and K.
I planted two new peach trees this year in this soil, and they have done pretty well, but they were thicker caliper trees, too. One pear we planted there last year has just taken off, it is at least 12ft tall, with about a 2in thick trunk. It was about a 4ft, 9/16" caliper whip when planted.
Anyways, I am considering moving the two lagging peach trees, and maybe a couple of the puny apple trees down to the barn plots around next March. I will prob lose a year, but I want them to do well in the long run.
Like I said earlier, I’ll try to post some pics of the newly cleaned up trees soon.