10 foot spacing requires much more pruning effort than 15.
If you have space, give them a good distance. I bend all my tree limbs. They spread out more than growing up. Need more space that I don’t have between trees.
I have a small backyard. Mine are spaced at 8 feet and I love it. I’m not finding it hard to maintain. 6th or 7th leaf now. All never go above 8 feet tall. If i were to start over i would do the same thing. If I had all the room in the world I would put them at 10 feet, anymore seems a waste of space to me.
Because of your climate.
And soil. I agree that trees respond differently to spacing depending on environmental factors. Also, I’m not sure Drew hast been growing his trees long enough to even know what is best for him where he is. I used to think I liked closer spacing, but as trees extend their roots they become increasingly vigorous and cutting back the tops is not necessarily conducive to the perfect balance of vigor in my region because we don’t get to control water. Ultimately, I believe I get better fruit quality with wide spacing, but this evaluation isn’t scientific. It is the traditional belief of fruit growers around here, however, and pretty easy to observe.
You should see the difference in the size of trunks of peach trees I’ve planted in various soils of the same age. In a well drained clay loam they double in diameter over the trees growing in sandy silt. Ultimately, I expect its a good idea to increase spacing in richer soils, but anecdotes are suspect.
I would be surprised getting even better fruit quality as so far they are the best i have ever had. But yeah I always reserve the right to change my mind. One might like more space, but my spacing is far from extreme compared to Scott who has them as close as 2 feet. Which i think now he wold rather have at 4 feet and is doing such when he can remove a tree in his rows. As far as roots when i see a 120 foot oak or maple fall, it always surprises me how few roots they have. Sure I know some extend far, but the rootball is never that big, amazing they don’t fall sooner.
Scott’s are not healthy, vigorous trees. That is one reason he plants them close- hopefully it isn’t close planting that contributes to their short lives, but Scott probably too smart and engaged to miss that.
As far as quality problems, that doesn’t occur for me until trees are full grown- probably around the 8th year here at my site. Some sites don’t even inspire vigorous growth no matter how I manage them so spacing can be closer.
Susu - my two cents. Have you planted other peach trees, if so how big are they after how many years? If you have a 5 year old peach tree that you have not aggressively trimmed and it is 8 ft wide than maybe 8 or 10 ft spacing is okay, maybe even 6 if you want to be relatively aggressive on your trimming. If your 5 year old tree is 14 ft or 12 ft than maybe you should consider 10 to 14 ft. No sense in 14 ft spacing if your soil won’t grow a 14 ft tree. Me personally I space 14ft, with some as close.as 12ft. I am not a fan of high density planting but that is my personal opinion. To me it looks likes a lot of work that I don’t want to do (spray/pruning). Now if I had a .25 acre or half acre lot I would likely be singing a different tune … . Best of luck.
You summed it up well Richard… I wish I had 1/2 an acre!
I space peach trees 18’ X 25’ at the farm and 20’ X 20’ here at the house. But that is on the outer end of any guidelines for spacing. Part of the reason I space them so far apart is because the soil is very rich (almost 6% organic matter) and the water drainage is excellent (because I have them on raised plantings). It doesn’t take the trees terribly long to fill in that space.
LOL ! What a great answer! (I stayed here - not very long - and I went from 2 pomegranate trees to 18. No peaches, nectarines, apples or pears . . . to 9! And . . . learned to graft! AND propagate! This is addicting stuff!
Good information on the Citation rootstock. I’ve wondered about using that rootstock on a few peach trees I want to get.
If you get peaches on Citation, be sure to mulch and irrigate them. If you let it fend for itself, there is a good chance it will runt out.
I spaced my peach trees 15’ apart. Mainly for air flow. We get so much rain, off and on showers , and humidity I was afraid of the rotting and disease issues I would get if I crowded them close together. Plus if they do not do well and I need to replace them with another type tree, say apple, the spacing is what I use for my apple trees as well. Pull one out, plant another one in the same hole. Easier fore me that way.
Great tip as well. I do not need a tree to runt out. I think I have one that did that. Not a peach tree though another fruit. We’ll see what it does this year. I may be wrong, I hope.
Bob can you PM me
I am getting ready to put in my recently purchased pomegranates, which have been ‘lounging’ in the garage, for several months . . . looking like they are playing possum - ie. DEAD. But, they are now showing signs of life ! - and I am very very excited that they made it through the winter storage. The soft-seeded varieties will have to wait a few more weeks - but I’m ‘chompin at the bit’ to get the hardy ones in the ground!
The pomegranates are laid out in 3 rows, which from overhead, would look like a modified triangle. The back row, which will bear the brunt of the northward, is longer. I’m hoping that they will help protect the less hardy varieties, which I am placing more toward the middle of the grid. I have dug my holes 12’ apart.
I also bought 2 each . . . of peaches, nectarines, plums and, also, 4 apple trees.
So, I’ve been paying close attention to all of your posts about spacing and how much to ‘top’ them - how far from the ground the first scaffolds should be, etc.
One apple tree I picked up from Vintage Apples - and so it was not pruned for shipping. That darn thing is 7’ tall. We could barely fit it in my car for the drive home! It is a Goldrush on M7. The lowest branches are not very low. I just don’t know how much of it to cut off the top. ? I know I have to take a lot . . . I will plant it and then post a pic for advice.
We have lots of space. And lots of humidity to deal with - so I believe, that after reading all of your opinions . . . I will go with 15’ at least. I want to try to keep things ‘open’ in the centers. Plus, I want to make sure that it is easy to mow between trees.
I am thinking that I will plan 2 rows, about 20’ apart. I cannot wait to see them all in the ground - and will be anxious to see how much growth I get over the next year.
It’s been many years since I had the time or interest to grow fruit trees. I’ve learned so much, so quickly, from participating here, online. I want to thank this forum - and all the members who post regularly - for re-invigorating my zeal for such a fun, active, interesting and rewarding ‘hobby’.
Well, I had a bad borer problem and many peach trees lost vigor but the ones that did not get borers are vigorous. They are not as vigorous as widely spaced trees due to a lot more root competition, but they put on a good amount of new wood each year.
Peaches are more tolerant of close spacing than most trees. That said, it requires pruning work to keep them in smaller spaces, and if you don’t really prune them back you can have more disease problems due to dense growth. These days my average on peaches is probably about 6’ between trees, some are closer and some are further apart. I have slowly removed varieties I don’t like and let the ones I do like expand into the space, so I started out with everything at around 2’, and have bit by bit gotten to 6’. If I knew I wanted to keep every variety I would not have started them at 2’, while its possible to grow mature peaches at that spacing its not worth the hassle.
In order to pack more peach trees in a smaller space you may want to consider an alternative to open center training, like parallel V.
Two feet closer than me, sort of. I have so much room at 8 feet, I put at 4 feet black currants. I have no problem getting around the trees. My biggest concern about it is not stepping in dog pies as my dog likes to dump around the trees. I can’t tell you how many times I had to get the hose out. I now have rubber shoes i wear while out there! I try to go on poop patrol beforehand but ones misses the piles from time to time.
Spacing is important to me because each tree has 4-6 cultivars. adding a tree by cutting spacing means at least 4 new cultivars. I’m getting 80 to 120 fruits per tree, yes I should thin more! How many fruits does one need? I’m super happy with this arrangement. It gives me room to try many varieties, and the trees are producing well, they don’t seem to be hurting in anyway. Also pruning is not that difficult. Backyard orchard culture works very well. My trees are loaded with fruit buds once again this year.
A picture is worth a thousand words. 6th leaf trees. Black currants in-between. The shrub in front is Carmine Jewel and it is only spaced at 6 feet, i would like a little more room there. Maybe it’s me but i don’t see a crowding issue here? Not like they will get much bigger, I will keep them as is anyway.