Growing and Pruning Peach Trees

Growing and Pruning Peach Trees

espallierPlanting peaches

  • If planting against a wall remember at least a foot from the wall will be extremely dry
  • The soil may also be very poor and contain builders rubble.
  • Dig a deep pit and fill with good rotted compost
  • After planting water well to settle the soil and add a mulch of manure
  • Peaches like a lightopen well drained soil that still retains some moisture

Training Peach trees

  • Horizontal wires secured with vine eyes are a traditional support mechanism.
  • Train side shoots to form a fan shape by tying to the wire
  • A neater method may be to select 2 side opposing shoots to grow parallel to the wall. Remove the leading branch and tie each shoot to a cane at 45degree angle.

Pruning Peach Trees

  • Fruit with a stone or kernel are pruned when the sap is still rising, May and June are the key times. Plums, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Cherries and Gages are all stone fruit to be pruned at this time of year. Fan trained stone fruit like peaches, nectarines and acid cherries, that fruit on previous years wood can be pruned immediately after fruiting
  • Peaches are often grafted on to Plum stock like Pershore, St Julien A  or Common Mussel.
  • They flower and fruit on wood made in the previous season so once the wood has fruited it can be cut out to allow replacement branches to develop.
  • For young trees the shoot which has born fruit is allowed to grow until it reaches say 18″ then it is pinched out to a wood bud.
  • On a fan trained Peach do not allow one side to dominate the other unchecked. Vertical branches are more dominant than horizontal branches so tie the branches accordingly to direct energy into an even growth pattern.
  • Blossom buds are round and fat whilst wood buds are small and pointed.
  • Bush grown Peaches need drastic pruning in may to encourage a continuous supply of new wood. Growth appearing next to a fruit should be pinched out above the second leaf.

Peach Tips

  • Thin fruit after ‘stoning’ (the natural dropping of excess fruit like the June drop of Apples) to leave 6″ between fruit.
  • Keep Peach trees moist whilst the fruit is developing. Fruit is ripe when the base is slightly soft.
  • For grafted trees make sure the union is above soil level when planting.
  • Peaches need more space than Plums to bear enough new wood.

Best Varieties to Grow

  • Duke of York bears large sweet and juicy fruit in August. The skin is yellow and the flesh is green.
  • Peregrine bears crimson fruit that are smaller but it is a reliable heavy cropper.
  • Alexander is an early variety that needs extra frost protection but crops well
  • Sea Eagle is  a late ripener ready in October but with  milder weather it can perform outside although it produces largest  fruit under glass
  • Compact varieties for pots include Pixzee, Bonanza and Garden Lady.
  • For a nectarine try the flavoursome Lord Napier

Problems with Peach Trees

  • Earwigs can crawl into fruit and destroy the crop. Lay traps with straw packed in an upturned pot.
  • Grown under glass red spider mite can be a problem keep a humid atmosphere by spraying
  • Peach leaf curl blisters and puckers young leaves. Cover plants with a temporary plastic roof from mid=winter until the danger of frost has passed.

One thought on “Growing and Pruning Peach Trees

  1. How Do I Get the Stone from a fruit to gemanate?

    Many Thanks.

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