I’m new to fruit tree growing. Last year I bought a dwarf peach tree and it grew kind of lopsided. I could use some advice for if I should prune it more and if so how? Is there anything I can do to help it grow more balanced? Thanks!
If you want to straighten the tree, I would attach 3 boards to the barrel, and go up about 2 feet above the top of the barrel. (in a triangle pattern) I would then get some straps or soft rope, and adjust the rope so it is growing straight. (someone else can give you pruning advice.
Not sure about dwarf peach trees… but peaches are normally (always?) trained, pruned, open center.
I planted a new Rising Star Peach last spring… and sorry but I did not take a pic of it before pruning… but did take one after, planting and pruning the first time.
That is how I start off on a open center training…
Basically lopped off the top (as you can see) but left 4 nice (future fruit bearing limbs) all heading off in different directions.
That pic was probably taken late March, early April.
And the one below (of the same tree) was taken early/mid May from the side.
and here is what that same peach tree looked like this morning…
Note - I have not pruned it yet for this season, but will soon.
In it’s first year planted… it grew from that first pic, to this… 8 ft wide, 12’ tall.
I will of course give it a good pruning here soon and a lot of that height will be cut down.
Below is a pic of a Reliance Peach tree that I planted in 2002 and I have trained it to open center…
When it does bear, as you can see it loads up.
TNHunter, Would you recommend that I top it above the large branch going to the left in march?
that would leave 4 branches coming out (the large one and 3 smaller)
Here is another shot of the tree with some markings
You generally want your scaffolds spaced farther apart. I would keep the 3 larger branches and prune the tiny ones, but also head back the larger branches a bit so they don’t grow twiggy.
You’re a great salesman. If anyone is concerned about lopping off the tree to the desired height, this should allay their fears. Thanks for the photos over time. It really brings the point home! BTW, what companion plants do you have near the tree?
I created that extra long raised bed after watching permaculture video’s on youtube for a year or so…
That was my take on a food forest bed, combined with a little ruth stout (deep hay) composting in place.
In order from one end of the bed to the other it has a Che Tree, then a string of ouachita blackberries, that rising star peach, then a string of raspberries heritage and fall gold, then an Akane Apple Tree, a goumi bush, hudson golden gem apple, goumi bush, gold rush apple, moorpark apricot, then 2 jujub’s Shanx Li and GA866 on the other end. And all along the top of that bed I planted strawberries, and other misc annual stuff, 4 dill weed plants, some bell and jalapeno pepper, I even put a few Charleston grey watermelon plants in there…
We had a nasty frost on April 15 that killed all the watermelons and several peppers, but some made it.
I know all the watermelons that were up on that date died… but there must have been one seed that had not sprouted yet, that came up after the frost. One did grow and grow it did. I kept the vines pulled up on that raised bed and that one vine covered 60+ ft of that bed and produced 9 whopper melons.
In that pic you can see of the peach earlier… there is a strawberry plant, some dill weed and a jalapeno pepper just to the left of it. That jalapeno pepper grew right up in with the peach and got near 7 ft tall. Some of that dill weed got huge… 5 ft or more… I did not know dill weed would get that big. I still have several bunches of it dried hanging in our pantry. I grow cukes in my flat garden…
I put up near 5 gal of fermented pickles and jalapeno peppers last summer. We still have 3 half gal jars of fermented pickles in the garage fridge… (Garlic and Dill are my main flavors in the ferment).
I am SO impressed. I told @PomGranny that my original inspiration for the orchard was Miracle Farms in Canada and his permaculture idea–a triole of nitrogen fixer, apple, and pear or plum or cherry, then repeat. I tried having that extended bed all along the row as I have seen in so many pics from our fellow orchardists. I had all sorts of companion plants and it was well mulched. Then life took over and it went to s#*&(#&! My chickens threw the mulch everywhere, weeds and grass grew throughout the beds and I had trouble getting to them to shore things up. I tried clover the next year, but it still didnt seem to work for me. I think I had a lot of mental pressure of lots of neatly groomed yards around me with home owners that hire gardeners, no less, and my tangled mess just seemed like that–a tangled mess. In the end, I have reverted back to open circular beds to around the drip line, some mulch, and a fair of amount of green mulch like comfrey on the edges. I wish that I could maintain what you have but I dont think I can. BTW, I dont want to ever hire a gardener, even if I could afford one. Whats the fun in that? What in the world would I do?
I think I have watched most of the youtube vids for Miracle Farms… definitely one of the permaculture youtubers I found and studied.
That is why I planed a apple, goumi, apple, goumi, apple
I have the goumi nitrogen fixers between each of the 3 apple trees.
I have a Red Gem and a Sweet Scarlet and they grew nicely last year… near 5 ft tall now and lots of branches. Hope to get to eat some goumi berries this year. that will be a first.
I think I may get me another and plant it between my last apple tree and the apricot.
But since I have not eaten any goumi yet… not real sure how good they are. I know you have to let them get very ripe before they are sweet.
Two bushes may be all I need… but if they are pretty good eating… I might just plant a 3rd (perhaps a different variety).
One Green World has another variety called Tillamook… they say it produced huge crops of some of the biggest goumi berries they have seen…
Anyone here tried a Tillamook ?
There is quite a bit of difference in how your little peach tree looks and how my new purchase last spring looked.
I found my Rising Star Peach at Van Wells Nursery… I had some trouble locating that specific variety but did find one there (somewhat late last spring).
What they sent me was a 2nd year tree and it was quite large and stout, had lots of branches, and probably 3 ft of top that I lopped off.
I had 4 pretty nice limbs that were all pointing different directions which made my first pruning a little easier for me… than what you have in your tree.
Your tree to me looks like it may have been in a location where it was forced to reach out for sunlight… that may not be the case but that is what it looks like to me.
It is leaning to the left, and has the more developed limbs on the left… because it was heading that direction (best it could) to get more sunshine.
If that is the case, you might simply spin your planter 180, to get it to develop more nice limbs on the other side to even things up some.
A tree will definitely develop more limbs and even lean the trunk towards the sunshine if sunshine is somewhat limited. Even a tree in full sun, will develop more on the south/west sides.
I would not have such a easy time deciding exactly how to prune your little tree there either…
I do think that leaving the best 3-4 limbs, and if possible limbs that are going out in different directions, and separated some (up the tree trunk) and pruning the others would be a good start.
And if it is reaching out for sunshine, since you have it in a planter, you might try rotating that planter a few times each growing season.
Good Luck !