Getting a Nectarine to branch lower

Howdy! I was needing help with this nectarine. It was the only one of the variety that i could find, but had terrible branching - first branch is at about 5’. Can i cut the stump down to ~18" and expect regrowth, or will i kill it. Bought this year in 5 gallon pot, with medium root density, white roots were visible on the outside. Any help on getting MUCH lower branching without setting the plant back is greatly appreciated!


You can try notching the dormant buds/nodes lower on the stem. See

If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, the relevant part starts at 13:40


For years I headed all my new peaches at 2’. If there was only a trunk there it didn’t stop me. They are a little slower out of the gate that way but will catch up soon enough.

Now I like trees like yours, no branches below deer browsing height! I am doing the opposite of what I used to do, I am cutting off the low branches.


That is hilarious, but we must adapt! I live in an area with no deer, so we are safe! Just want to be able to reach my fruit with ease. Thank you for your experience, Scott. I may wince, but off with its head!


Is the graft where that crook starts on the trunk?bb

Yes, about 3" above soil line.

There’s another bend about two feet up.Is that just some abnormality?bb

Yes, it looks like either end of year growth, or they chopped off a slower growing top for faster growing shoot… but rootstock is the lower bend.

Any suggestion on dealing with bears rather than deer?

I agree completely with notching the tree. I have had excellent success starting branches where I wanted doing this.


I would probably just head it at about 2 ft high.

It once happened to me that a peach headed at about 1.5 ft did not have any buds and hence produced no growth. Fortunately, I saved some wood that I cut from the top of that tree and grafted it back on the trunk.


I was thinking about grafting a branch back down as well… may keep a few, and if nothing sprouts, do a quick graft…n

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