Peach tree diagnosis please

I noticed that my 15 year old peach tree that I inherited is having bark issues. Bark is peeling in large chunks with what looks like termites underneath. I don’t think its borer damage as the base of the tree looks ok. Some of the branches have not woken up from dormancy (still green when I scrape the bark). There is no oozing from this area. Just dry bark peeling away. Is this canker or cold damage? Is it too late to do anything?

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Just from those pictures it looks like the tree is in decline. Peaches often don’t last much longer than 15 or 20 years in Maryland.

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Looks like a goner to me.

Thank you for the prompt response. Do you think I can top-work it as the bottom 4ft of the trunk looks ok.

The problem is deeper than what you see, the tree got like that due to lack of energy coming from the roots. I would fertilize it well and hope to get a few more years out of it.

This spring I replaced two 15 year peaches and have several more coming out this coming winter. It is just part of growing peaches in our climate.

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I am in central MA. It is also hot and humid climate (not as hot as your area). The kind of weather that brings on diseases to stone fruit including peach trees on top of all kinds of pests.

My PF 24 C peach planted in 2010. It has some bark peel deeply like yours but not as extensive. I can see the decline in the tree health. It does not producing many new shoots (reddish in color). Most of new shoots on it are skinny and short, compared to new, healthy shoots from healthy peach trees.

It was my first peach tree and there have been a lot of hits and misses with it ( more misses). It will be removed and replaced by a new peach tree next spring,

Peaches here are short-lived compared to apples. 15 year old peach tree is a ripe old age for peaches grown in humid east. Peach trees grow quickly. If you grow it from a bare root tree, it could produce fruit in year 2 and definitely by year 3. If you buy a potted peach tree, it probably produces the same year (two of my peach trees bought from Costco have done that).

Top working an old peach tree to a 4 ft stump may not work. It may or may not send out new shoots. You may kill it.

Buying a new tree will be my suggestion.


Oh I see. I will give it 1 more year as 50% of the branches have good fruit set. What do you recommend for fertilizer? I have a ton of Leafgro sitting around that I can use right way. Maybe next spring I will get a Tomcot that I soo badly want.

Urea or other high nitrogen will be good to keep your peach going.