Time to Axe the Peach Tree?

My Early Elberta peach tree is 12 this year and not looking so good. It bore heavily last year but this year emerged with yellow leaves (that don’t look like chlorosis to me), brown leaf blotches, limited flowers only some of which set fruit and branch splitting that has been getting worse year on year.

Any diagnosis of the problems you might have?

I was leaning toward harvesting the fruit and chopping it down this fall, probably putting something in its place this spring.

@fruitkismet … hate to see that… I have a early elberta too… from Stark bros. Mine is near 20 years old.

Very good peaches and mine are ripe mid June. Love that.

Mine is showing some not so good signs this year too… some shoots that have dropped leaves… but still a good crop on at this point. Perhaps going out with one more good crop.

Hate to say it but have to agree… yours is looking pretty bad. Hope you can save it if possible. Compost water fertilizer… not sure.

I started a new rising star peach last year…

If mine does go I do have another coming I to production.

Good Luck !


It is only a guess, the yellow leaves could be from severe lack of nitrogen and, possibly, iron. It could be other micronutrients as well.

The split in the bark could be a result of sunscald considering a hot summer you have and those exposed branches.

Whatever it is, I would axe it. I am one of those who is not hesitate to remove poorly performed trees. As you know, peaches grow like weeds. You can get production from peaches in 3 years.

If you want to replace it with a peach tree, a bare root tree will be a good choice (instead of a potted plant) so you can train it the way you want.

Vaughn Nursery in TN has a large peach selection and the price that is hard to beat.


Thanks to you both. I have two other fruiting peach trees, plus two young ones growing elsewhere. My theory is that I need at least three of everything in case I kill one.

I’m reading up on grafting. If I cut off the limbs with the bad bark and tried grafting to them next spring, would that be an okay idea or is the tree too old for that to be worth it?

Is there any advantage to that other than cost versus buying a new tree? Maybe the grafts would grow more quickly since the root mass is very large relative to them and the canopy I removed?

It’s probably on citation rootstock (best guess based on where I bought it and recent purchases), but does that matter if I’m attaching it well above the rootstock collar?

What could I graft to it other than peaches? Nectarines, asian plum, etc.

You may have seen Youtube videos or pics of people stump-grafting apples, pears, cherries, etc.

I think stump grafting peaches esp 12 yrs old one won’t work. If you want to graft this variety because you like it, you can collect scion during the winter when the tree is fully dormant.

Cut several pieces of pencil-size wood (7-10” long each) that grew from this year (reddish or green in color). Wrap it completely in stretched parafilm. Put it in a gallon zip lock bag and stored the bag in a fridge.

Grafting peach when temp is steady at 70 -80 F for a stretch of at least 4-5 days in a row.

Search threads about grafting peaches in this forum. There are plenty. Good luck.

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