Can this tree be saved?

I would really appreciate you advice. I have several peach trees planted in a raised bed on one side of my property. Yesterday I was taking advantage of some unseasonably warm weather to do a bit of winter pruning. When I stepped into the bed near one of the trees I discovered the soil had been significantly washed away from the roots. Apparently I have a leak/broken water line near the tree and the water flow has washed out an area of soil about 4-5 ft in diameter and 6-8" deap, on one side and under the tree. The area was covered with a mulch bed that was masking the problem. I discovered that I had a leak several weeks ago and shut off the water flow to the area but had not yet looked for the source of the problem. Guess I found it.

Any way, I will dig up and fix the problem ASAP. Iwill of course try to damage the roots as little as possible and back fill the area with top soil from the local Big Box store. With the tree being in dormant state I he tree is about 10 years old and has be annually pruned to about 7-8 feet tall using the Dave Wilson nursery back yard orchard method.

Do you see any problem with back filling with top soil/ garden soil in a bag? Any recommendations concerning special (more sever?) pruning this year or fertilizing and thinning come spring? I am wondering if I should strip all young fruit this year to lessen stress on the tree.

I look forward to your suggestions.

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I am suggesting the bagged soil won’t hold the roots in a windstorm, so some sort of stake or tie-downs may be in order. Otherwise, I’d just as soon to backfill with pea gravel or sand for the stabilizing factor.

Good suggestion BlueBerry. I have about 200# of play sand (4 bags) that I will add to any topsoil for added weight and stability, and also drainage. I am not in a position to bring in or get gravel or other media delivered so I am limited to what I have on hand and what I can easily get in sack form.

1nolaguy, if you get the tree so it’s stable and not blowing around in the wind, probably no drastic pruning needed beyond what should be done in the late winter anyhow each year.

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