Help getting higher scaffolds on Frost Peach Tree

Hi Everyone!

I’m new to this forum and also new to the world of fruit tree growing. This year, I picked up two apples, two cherries, and a frost peach (citation rootstock), all Bareroot, from my local nursery, who is supplied through Dave Wilson Nursery.

I just planted my Frost Peach and it has scaffolding branches, fairly evenly spaced, about 30-35” up off the ground. I am wondering if I can cut 3 of the 4 branches, then create higher scaffolds off the remaining branch. Reason being, we have deer in our yard very regularly (we are in the only green belt, so they frequent our yard daily) and I am not keen on keeping the tree fenced for the rest of its growing life.

Any tips, tricks, photos, visuals are warmly welcomed.

Thank you all so much!


I have peach trees, and have never had a deer so much as nibble a branch. We have a high deer density as well. Peach are not as attractive of a food source as one would think.

That being said, you could do as you said and lop off the branches and train the tree to go up, but you are going to have to keep at it, and continue to select what would be your main leader. You can train it to a central leader system, but most people don’t.

I’d be more concerned with your apple trees and deer, than I would your peach. Here the deer browse off anything that is about 48" and below.

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The first apple trees I planted, the deer destroyed in about 1/2 hour. At first, I tried bird netting, but the trees kept getting caught in the nets. So, I bought a roll of fence, and made cages. I lifted them up off the ground with stakes, so that I could mow, and trim under the trees. This may not be the answer you wanted, but it was the only way to keep the deer out. I will take the cages of in about of couple of years. The deer like the new growth on the trees.



Thanks so much for your quick reply! I hadn’t thought about lifting them off the ground…that’s a great idea! For now, we have some 6’ fencing about 5x5 around the tree. I suppose that should do until it gets leafy and wide.

Thanks for the photos-your trees look great!

That’s very reassuring. I do notice our deer are fairly picky with the vegetation they eat, so I’ll just make sure to wrap up my apples especially well and for now not worry so much about the peach.

Do you know if this is the case with cherries as well? Are deer fans of sweet cherries or tend to stay away?

I am a little hesitant to have to stray onto a path less people take. I need all the help I can get, so I should probably follow suit with the norm and stick with open center. Thank you for all the insight!

I have had a few tender new shoots eaten by deer off of my sweet cherries, but they mostly ignore the stone fruits. They prefer the apples to anything else in my orchard, so much so that the only trees I bother to protect are the young apples.


One night with a frisky buck is bad news for a young fruit tree. I’ve lost more trees to a good thrashing than hunger. My trees have to stay caged till they get some hard bark on them.(Illinois 6a)


A short section of 4" corrugated drain pipe around the truck helps stop bucks from rubbing the trunks.


The only problem I have had with deer and peach trees is them rubbing on them and also them eating the peaches. They don’t seem to like the leaves but they love the peaches

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I just found a new plum tree today that was tore up pretty good by a buck. I have had peach trees in the past tore up though they have always recovered luckily. What is surprising they seem to choose the trees right by my ranch house and ignore the ones farther out away from the house.