Earlier this year, I dug up and elevated a peach tree that was planted too deep. I wanted to share the successful result in case anyone else considers it.
This was a bare root peach tree I planted last year that didn’t grow so well its first season. My soil is piedmont clay, and the grade ended up being just 2 inches below the graft and 5 inches above the root crown. After reading posts on this forum and others, I realized my mistake and decided to dig up and raise the tree in February this year.
After: showing exposed root flare and adventitious roots that sprouted from the buried trunk.
And here is the tree now. There was good canopy growth this season, and the roots and trunk have thickened. I even got to taste one peach this year. Excited for what next year will bring!
In so many cases in peach trees I think a big part of the problem is too much water on the peach roots. That was a good call on your part.
One thing to be watchful of is as the tree ages, it can become water stressed. I’ve found that young trees don’t need much of a mound because their root mass is small. Even a small amount of mound will get the peach roots out of the flood zone. (I know you didn’t build a mound, but I think the same logic would apply.)
As the trees get mature, the roots need more moisture and space, so they end up going down more. Then when we get very heavy rains for prolonged periods, I can see water stress (i.e. too much water) in those trees. It takes a lot of water, but several days of constant drenching rains, but it can happen. Maybe NC doesn’t get that kind of rain, but we get it some springs here.