Peach Tree Initial Pruning

Hi @TangTang thank you for posting it, so there is hope! I’ll insert some cuttings into my soil many times I noticed my almost-pure sand is indeed very fertile and cuttings may grow.

Your “wood” looks a little younger than mine. My 1st beheaded is about 0.9" diameter trunk, and second one 1.1"; and I found interesting discussion here too,

I also saw that leaving nursery branches needed to keep roots alive (photosynthesis); but I have rootstock pushing sprouts now, and maybe some are coming from scion too, so I’ll leave it (instead of “nursing branch”)

Maybe I can put plastic bag on a trunk and seal it, maybe high humidity and warmth inside will help? Both trees are practically in a shade, North from house.

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Hi @Bambarbia,

I’m very, very new to growing fruit trees, so the other members should have a lot more cogent information about encouraging your tree to either branch out or else using it for grafting. I have little experience.
I can say that with my tree that I transferred it from in-ground to a large container (Ultra-dwarfs are marketed as “patio trees”) and placed the container in the sunniest and warmest part of my yard next to a south facing wall. This was more coincidental if anything becuase I figured the tree was a goner.

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Sorry to hear about your family and hope everyone is doing as well as possible.

If you got growth pushing i would not bag it, i assume that would encourage mold, i would maybe errect a shade cloth or covering if it is getting cooked by the sun or wind dessicated but what i would do is redo the cuts and put a 45 degree angle so that water flows off the trunk.

@TangTang That is the opposite of what i would do i would try to put it somewhere out of direct sun and wind until it resprouts from the scion and then i would put it back in a sunnier open spot.

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I would say to take @RichardRoundTree advice on this, as I have little experience and knowledge on the subject.
I’ll have to be more circumspect with my replies as my intent was not to give advice but merely to relate my own, somewhat similar, experience.
In my case I wasn’t trying to save the tree, per se. I had chalked it up as a loss but rather than tossing it I threw it in a pot and just made sure to cover the roots with random dirt from the garden. I didn’t place it intentionally in the sunniest spot, that was just coincidence. Didn’t even occur to me that I could salvage it for use in grafting (no experience with grafting of any kind).
Dumb luck I suppose, but I’ll take the results.

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There lies your clue and the likely dashing of your hopes- that looks like last years wood. Peaches do differ from variety to variety on their ability to generate new shoots from old wood which is a problem primarily in keeping them productive without having the centers of the trees becoming barren of fruit bearing shoots and the wasted space this involves. Whence the 10-15 year average productivity of peach trees in commercial orchards. I’ve taken a chance and done what you did with 3 year old trees whose variety I hated, but only a couple of times- and the trees died. I don’t know what happens when you do that to a Red Haven or other variety more conducive to generating new shoots from old wood.

Peaches are junk pioneer type trees that grow like weeds in good conditions and runt out in bad so your hope is probably in planting new trees and providing the right conditions. Peaches hate drought but require plenty of oxygen in the soil. They aren’t really good competitors against weeds grass or forest trees, especially during early establishment.


I’ve tried bark grafting old peach wood with very poor results. I would think cleft grafting that stump would yield a low probability of success.

As Alan mentioned, older peach wood doesn’t generate what is called adventitious shoots well. In other words, on some types of trees, if sunlight hits old wood, the wood will start to grow new shoots. For example, if you top an oak tree, lots of new shoot will sprout where it was topped. Likewise, if you cut a hedge tree down, lots of new suckers will come up from the stump.

Peaches tend not to do this. If you don’t see any live buds, peaches tend not to want to throw out new wood from smooth bark, once they get past about 2 years old. Older trees are even worse. I cut down peach trees all the time and rarely see suckers come up from the stump (even from a variety like Redhaven, which puts out lots of renewal wood). Maybe one in ten peach trees I cut down will send up a sucker from the stump. Eastern red cedar trees are the same way.

As Mamuang mentions, it’s a good idea to keep a large sod free area from around the base of a peach tree.


The peach trees look like still young. There might be some new shoots coming out.
Best wishes to your tree.

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In looking at some of our trees destroyed by heavy snow…here is an example of why you should stay away from having “v-shaped” scaffold branches directly across from each other…

This tree looks like it had mild canker or the beginning of rot due to the “v” collecting moisture. It probably would have held up provided we thinned enough fruit…it could not hold up with the heavy snow though.


That’s a vivid example.

I’m sure you know this, but for others I’d like to point out there are no collars formed on the branches which broke. If no collar is formed, the scaffold wants to split the tree rather than hold the load.

I agree with you V-training has this inherent weakness. By design, the scaffolds selected are supposed to be similar in size and generally selected early, so it’s difficult for them to form collars at the attachment. With the traditional 3 scaffold vase system, the scaffolds can be selected to be less than 1/2 or 1/3 the diameter of the trunk and will form good collars.

We now do a pretty good job selecting the smaller scaffolds, but still have some problems selecting small enough shoots attached to the scaffolds to form collars, so we get some breakage as the tree grows and those shoots become big enough branches that they break off where they attach on the scaffolds.


@MaureeninMaine,Sorry to see some of your losses after that snow storm. Your orchard is beautiful!!

Mark - I always love it when you gives us peach tutorial with pictures. It makes it very easy to understand. Your last “before and after” peach tree pruning was excellent. Thank you.

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@Bambarbia see this thread

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As a little follow-up…I was lucky enough to replace the 7 trees that we lost THIS season as we already had an order placed with Adams County Nursery and have not received it yet. I called them and they were able to add 7 trees to the order…which I also delayed from April 20 to May 4 due to the recent rotten stretch of weather.


Thank you @patrick for the link, it’s amazing how they put new growth on such an old bark (12-15 years old). It is still cold here in Canada, I have few dwarf varieties which are getting ready to flower maybe in 1-2 weeks

My experience is that it is very hard to graft peach. I finally sent my dying Lars Anderson scions ten years ago to John Bunker of MOFGA and Fedco. John magically was able to propagate the cutting and hence the LA seedlings. I find that patience is the best resource any of us fruit growers can use. Best. Waite Maclin, Pastor Chuck Orchards


Peaches are harder to graft, but are doable. Timing is critical for success, in my experience. And of course grafting to young wood produces much better success. I’ve found budding peaches produces much more consistent results.


Maybe I need to prepare cuttings and keep it in a fridge till Summer & Autumn, just to play with it, experiments, maybe try to root :slight_smile: I am novice with fruit trees grafting but I believe grafting peach on a peach is bad idea… plum as rootstock is better. And I already ordered grafted peach trees from nursery.

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If the trees don’t bud out,here is another thing to

I ordered few new peach trees from nursery; but I have also 95% hope that my peaches will continue to grow. One (thick one, FLAMIN’ FURY PF 24C) looks super healthy and rootstock (which is very special plum variety I believe) is pushing buds, so I’ll keep it anyway for future grafts (onto plum rootstock!). Another one, extremely productive (in a partial shade, evening sun only!) is I believe Reliance, it was looking diseased anyway, bacterial, and it looks now diseased too, dark holes in a bark. Regarding grass around… I don’t care if I have 15 Lbs instead of 135 :slight_smile: I specifically planted fescue grass last year because I don’t have time for weeds; crabgrass was growing on top of big bark pieces

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I found which rootstock I have under Flaming Fury 24C, it is Krymsk 1 Dwarf, so, don’t waste time for bark graft, you have something better :wink:
" VVA-1, also known as Krymsk 1, is a new dwarfing rootstock for plum trees. It was developed in Russia and released in 2004. It is related to Prunus cerasifera , the Cherry Plum - a species of plums which have naturally smaller trees than other plum species."

I bought few trees from Nutcracker nursery in Quebec, Canada; they sent me huge 7-feet trees (but trunk is about 3/4" or less). With flower buds; never being trimmed. I am wondering… are those own-roots? I sent them Email. Already planted, and cut at knee-height.

Is there any issue if those are own-root trees?