Peach tree help please

I bought this tree and the next one from Lowe’s last yr. planted in the spring. Was told not
to trim it till the 2nd. yr.
Can I trim them now and if so. Where. I want to have a fairly strait trunk.
I’m from GW the fruit folks sent me over here.
I’m in NE Ok. and my yard stays moist much of the time because the drainage system here sucks
and every ones drains into our yard and into a ditch.
I’ll post another pic in next post of the base of this tree. Don’t know how to post multiple pics in one post sorry.
Thanks for any help.

Base of it

second tree

full tree

I don’t hesitate to prune at planting time if needed. The first thing I noticed is that you might have a limb growing from the rootstock. Carefully look over the graft area and make sure not to cut out the scion that was intended to be your fruiting tree. It is hard to determine from the pictures but in the third photo the correct scion appears to be on the left side. Good luck Bill

Well you can prune the first year we almost all do that. The trees look way too deep to me. I can’t even see the graft union. You never want to plant a tree deep. I would watch the Dave Wilson nursery videos about prunning trees. It’s a start, you don’t have to do them that way, but it will give you the basics about fruit tree structure.

It’s hard to tell at this point, but to me they do not look like peach trees.

I think I disagree. Any pruning, even dormant pruning hurts vigor at least a little. I’d be sure to get any rootstock suckers, but otherwise leave it alone the first year.

The tree is otherwise in pretty good shape for an “open vase” type shape which is a good shape except for the possibility of branch breakage in heavy bearing years. You might want to consider keeping that basic shape.

Well i would disagree with that, if anything it promotes vigor. I was not advocating pruning at all.
Just that many of us prune bare root trees as soon as we get them. Some think you shouldn’t others disagree. I myself even if not cutting it down knee high prune back all branches when I plant the tree.
These trees look nothing like the peach trees I get, so I’m not sure what I would do here either?
It doesn’t even look like a peach tree. It looks pruned already too, unless that is a root sucker.
Does it even have a graft union?

Few people don’t believe in pruning the first year. You can get the tree to focus the growth on where you need it, its new scaffolds, by thinning to that structure.

The trees look like either seedlings or graft failures, clearly these were rejects from some nursery that Lowes bought for next to nothing.

At this point I would pick 3-4 evenly spaced limbs to be the scaffolds, don’t have more than 3-4 coming out, and prune out the other ones. Also on the scaffolds thin out the shoots on those scaffolds.

I would watch the whole NCSU series on peach pruning, start at this one for a young tree and look at the YouTube suggestions for the other ones.




I prune my peaches at planting for the reason Scott mentioned. I like to start directing some of the growth right away.

On your trees, I would have pruned off the double leaders right away. Some people wait to prune until second season, but most would recommend pruning a double leader emerging at ground level when planting.

Like others, it’s hard for me to tell if you have a grafted tree or a rootstock. I don’t see any evidence of a graft, which is kind of a bad sign.

I hate to say it, but I would plant a couple more peach trees from a reputable nursery so you can start harvesting peaches sooner rather than later. It looks like you have plenty of space, so you could keep these trees if you want to see what they produce.

Trees from an online nursery will be more expensive than Lowes, but you are more apt to get much better quality stock from a reputable nursery. The cost of the tree is pretty insignificant compared to the care which goes into it to get it to produce.

If interested, I think Grandpa’s Orchard is still taking orders this spring.

One other thing I might mention is that it would be very helpful if you could build some type of raised planting to plant your peach trees. You mentioned your soil has very poor drainage (so does mine) and peach trees will never thrive in poorly drained soil unless they are planted on top of a raised planting (i.e. a mound)

Right, we all pretty much do it like the video. Fairly simple, and the videos I pointed to will show the same thing. Other ways to prune peach trees too, some may even be more productive. But I like the look of the open centered trees. Good advice about adding some other trees. Your trees are not correctly shaped for young grafted peach trees. You could have just rootstocks there.
Keep the trees anyway, down the road if they turn out to be something not good you can top work them with wood from the users here.
Keep us updated on the progress of the trees. I want to see the leaves too.
I would build a mound too as suggested. Use native soil, Take the native soil from another hole, and use it to mound. Only use native soil, no amendments. Fill the other hole with top soil or any filler.

These could be potted trees from big box stores that have been potted too deep.
The graft is probably 4 inches below soil level.
I see this all the time.
Then people plant the tree level with the top of the potting soil because that is the correct way to plant a potted plant.

I don’t do it that way. I grow the crap out of them first two years, then pull the limbs down then pick loads of fruit for 3 years.
Then i cut them down, then plant tomatoes, next year peas/beans then squash then fruit trees again. Stone fruit is just a rotational perennial vegetable / cover crop in my block.

Well David, besides the pruning that’s the way we all do it! :smile:

Thanks everyone. One of the trees has a flower on it. So no matter what it is it’s staying!!! We will just see.
We’ve only been in this home 2 yr. and there was no trees or flower beds. I’m slowly changing that.
I’m going to leave the trees and see what happens.
Oh yes I just figured out after reading my journal that these trees we bought at a resort sale that has a greenhouse and lots of trees and flower so I’m thinking maybe this were just something they dug up or started from branches or something. I don’t know anything about how you start tree.
I will be planting more trees.
Thanks again for your help.

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I hope you are not discouraged by a lot of info given, some may appear conflicting. We responded based on our growing experience.

Since you wamt to buy more fruit trees, you really should plant them on mounds or raised beds. Fruit trees do not like soggy soil or “wet feet”. They will not survive for long.

In a year or two, you will find out that peach flowers profusely and your next question will be about how to thin fruit off (need to be done).

Buy new trees from reputable on line nurseries like Olpea says will save you time, money and headache and it is a good investment. Right now, it is a little late to buy on line. Besides Grandpa’s Orchard, you can check Burntridge nursery.

Good luck.

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So is the time to plant them in the fall or spring?
I’ll be buying at a nursery when I buy. Not any in our little town
so will go to Joplin, Mo. or NW. Ark.
Thanks again for all the replies I’ll be watching this forum.

Both, now is good! . Funny I never bought a tree from a nursery that was not online. I have about 25 trees. All bought online. The choices are so much better. One place has 70 different peach trees.

I agree w/ David about “growing the crap out of peaches the first two years” (if in a well drained spot, peaches grow like weeds here) then pull the limbs down and pick lots of fruit.

One thing I do differently than David is that I don’t cut the trees down after another 3 years. Around here peach trees will continue to be productive for about 10-15 years.

Most online nurseries ship in the spring.

This is a good video to show Y’all some southern peach weeds.

Clemson University Musser Fruit Research Farm

They grow Y shaped trees 6 ft apart.

Dr Layne makes a point that in the south a mature peach tree will use 40 gallon of water per day when loaded with fruit.

Dr Layne aka peach doctor has great info and videos.