Reversing a multi-graft tree to single variety

What experience or wisdom for you have about changing a multiple grafted tree with three peach varieties back into a single variety?

I moved into a new home and there were several multiple grafted trees (a pear, a peach and euro plum). I understand the pros of a multiple grafted tree like saving space, pollination, etc. However, I don’t like the way they look. They are messy and lop sided when one branch fruits at a different time. The leaves are different and so forth.

Is it possible to remove two of the three varieties entirely or maybe I just keep “stubs” of the two unwanted varieties for a few flower buds? The tree is only a few years old and about 6 feet tall and wide.

Could I cut back the chosen variety to promote new branching and shape it the way I want? Or would it be better to purchase a new single variety tree and give away the other one?

Usually one variety wants to dominate. I would figure out which that is and use it. Without a pict it is hard to further advise.

In hell for perfectionists there’s nor fire neither brimstone. Just chipped cauldrons are placed slightly asymmetrically. :wink:


Unless your chosen variety is self pollinating then removing the other varieties from the tree will take away the pollinator for your chosen variety and you will never get fruit unless you plant another pollinator tree or a close neighbor has a pollinator tree in their yard.

There are recommended pruning methods for different fruit tree types, but also seems to be a bit of room for personal taste as far as shaping the tree. Best time for pruning is late winter or early spring just before the tree starts to come out of dormancy.

Others will have to lend their expertise on the effects of limiting the size and number of the branches of the unwanted varieties. I’m sure if those branches were shaded out by the branches of the preferred variety they would eventually die from lack of sun exposure.

I do have another pollinator tree. So I should be covered there. It is mostly an aesthetics thing. The tree is very tall and had lots of non fruiting wood already. It is like the previous owners just let all three graft branches grow straight up I want to try to bring it down and turn it into a single variety and at the same time, build out some better scaffold branches and shape. I will have to include a picture soon.

Do you want to reverse only your peach tree? A few things to consider:
Making sure the other two varieties on that tree are peaches. You said they have different leaves. Nectarines, plums apricots, in generally speaking, can be grafted on a peach tree.

If all are peaches, I would not be worried about cross pollination. Very few peach varieties are not self fertile.

You are in zone 8. No need to worry about pruning peach trees and winter kill. The timing I would look for is wet vs dry weather. I would prune it during a stretch of dry weather.

Thanks for the advice. The graft I want to keep is the left one with the white tag on it. It is an Indian free which I believe needs a pollinator. There is a pollinator tree next to it though.

The other grafts are also peaches - frost and muir. The muir looks sickly and only had one fruit this year so I am not very attached to it anyways.

I think I am going to try to cut the muir and frost out at the trunk and cut the indian free back to 6-8 inches out and let it grow out some new scaffold branches kinda like a renewal spur on a cherry tree.

Is this going to work? Anyone else try this before?

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Pruning off the other two varieties should not be a problem.

Pruning back the Indian Free to a stub is more concerning. I seem to remember reading somewhere that peach trees don’t do well with that. Someone with more experience will need to address that one for you.

I just trashed Frost this year. To me it was not that good. Cut the other varieties off and stake or what ever works best to straighten out the remaining branch. Let it sit forcefully straightened over the winter so that it has time to harden off in that form. Next spring see if you can remove the brace without it moving.

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