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Post  lisaphoto on 3/5/2012, 8:27 am

Last night at Big Lots, I found a semi-dwarf Elberta peach tree for only $15, plus I had 20% off. I have never grown any kind of tree and have no idea what I am doing. It is supposed to get only 8-10 foot tall, and it's already about that tall. I looked online and found some videos on pruning them, but the trees in the video were smaller than the tree I just bought. The pruning didn't quite make sense either. They said to prune all the twigs smaller than a pencil, and leave the middle kind of open. Only leave a few branches going in opposite directions. First off, if you prune anything smaller than a pencil, how is anything ever going to get bigger than a pencil? And second, my tree is basically just a big trunk in the middle with a bunch of tiny little branches. And I don't know if I should cut the top off to keep it short.

Also, with fruit trees, do you spray them at certain times, and with what (organic of course)?
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Post  quiltbea on 3/5/2012, 11:29 am

I planted a Red Haven dwarf peach whip last year. I believe when they mention pruning they mean you to prune out branches that will interfere with other branches or to help provide more light for the blosoming branches. You don't have to worry about that yet.

At the beginning, I would not prune at all. Save that for another year when the tree is bigger and you can see where the branches are growing or rubbing against each other. Dig a hole large enough for the root plus a little and fill it up again with the same soil you took out. Do NOT stake it unless you are in an exceedingly windy area. You want the roots to strengthen to hold the tree steady on its own. A little play in the root system is OK. It'll get stronger. Water it well.

After its watered in well, put compost all around the tree from a few inches away from the trunk to the dripline of the tree. In the case of a young one, that's usually only about a foot or so beyond the trunk. Mulch when it starts getting warm out. Keep the tree watered well its first year. You'll have plenty of time to read up more on pruning your dwarf tree.

I wouldn't cut off the leading branch. Sometimes that will kill a tree. Again, just let it grow and get more information about your variety of tree. Make any changes another year. Good luck and enjoy the peaches.

peach trees 05-08-12

My dwarf peach tree after planting last spring. I have a tomato cage around it to keep our golden retriever away from it. She loves to chew on tree branches.
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Post  lisaphoto on 3/5/2012, 12:08 pm

I've been researching it a bit more and starting to kinda understand. It sounds like you want it to be in a vase shape, basically the middle is kinda empty. And pruning peach trees are totally different than apple or pear apparantely. But I agree, I may not do anything this year, just let it get established. How many years do you think it will be before getting fruit? The tree is already really large (about 8-10 foot tall)
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Post  quiltbea on 3/5/2012, 12:35 pm

I hear on dwarf trees its about 3 years before you get fruit. I got 3 apples from my Honey Crisp tree its 2nd year but none on my Granny Smith dwarf. Just cross your fingers.
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Post  lisaphoto on 3/7/2012, 9:42 am

So I have done some more research and finally found a video that made a little more sense. I wanted to post so that others researching this topic can find it easier.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVcP7BHLsTw
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Post  quiltbea on 3/7/2012, 12:36 pm

lisa.....Thanks for the Youtubes. I watched the progress from new to 4-year old films and find it fascinating. I didn't know you could cut off the leader on a peach tree and the tree would live. I see they want to form a scaffold-type in the enter of the peach tree to grow sturdier side branches. That means I'll be out this spring with my pruner to chop off a few branches here and there, especially the leader, or main trunk branch. This was very educational. Thanks again.
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Post  gwennifer on 3/7/2012, 7:32 pm

lisa, I agree, very educational. Great find - thanks for posting! I don't even have a peach tree but I added it to my "favorites" so I can see how to get it started right if I ever do buy one. *LOL* I would never have had the courage to prune so drastically without seeing how it was done there first.

(By the way, I noticed that video only has a handful of "likes". I always click on the thumbs up if I found a video helpful. It's my way of thanking youtube people who've taken the time and energy to share their knowledge for free.)
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Post  morganfam7 on 3/19/2012, 6:41 pm

I'm about to plant a tree I just bought but it's a lot bigger than the tree he was pruning. I wonder if I should do it in increments. I don't want to kill it. It's already leafed out.
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Post  landarch on 3/19/2012, 7:01 pm

is there anyone in the area who you can visit with in person to show you how to prune your specific tree? county extension agent?

For the price you paid I think you can make an investment in time to see if this tree will produce for you. I am in the landscape industry and can tell you that many large, medium, and small growers of landscape plant material took a beating in the recent recession and there is a lot of neglected, low quality plant material on the market, cheap. Again, with a little TLC, hopefully this tree will produce or you.

Mother nature is a funny thing sometimes, I've always been taught that a fruit tree has to be perfect, grafted, pruned, etc. However, a friend of mine had a peach tree come up near his propane tank a few years ago (right out hs back door). Someone must have thrown a pit out the door and it grew. That tree produced the most amazing peaches last year; big, flavorful, juicy, etc.



Some types of trees need to be pruned to maintain a healthy form (branching, air curculation, etc.) while some need pruning at certain times of the year to promote flowering/ fruit.
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Post  morganfam7 on 3/20/2012, 12:54 pm

Lisa, I watched some Dave Wilson Nursery videos on youtube, and he goes over how to prune a bigger tree in one of them. I can't remember which one, but it's one of the five where he's making the first cuts on the Backyard Garden. It did wonders for me to watch him prune and prune and prune. I'm kinda thick headed I guess, but I finally started to understand after he did the 4th or 5th tree. Here's his channel on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/DaveWilsonTrees/featured
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Post  quiltbea on 3/20/2012, 1:33 pm

Morgan....thanks for the video. I've subscribed to the videos so that I can watch his progress on his trees. It'll help me with my dwarf apple, cherry and peach trees this year.

Thank you so much.
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Post  morganfam7 on 3/20/2012, 7:34 pm

I'm glad it helped. Very Happy I was so impressed with how he pruned. He's not afraid at all! I went out and pruned my two apples, but I don't think I pruned them enough.

After watching those videos I'm waiting to plant my peach until I get 2 or 3 more varieties to plant in the same bed. Oh, and that reminds me - the raised bed was one of many aha! moments. I thought of planting a tree inside a bed and putting veggies around it, but never thought to put the tree in it's own bed to alleviate my drainage problems.

I realized that I planted my daughter's Mollie Delicious apple too deep, and that's why we haven't had any fruit. Or that's my guess. I've dug around it, and now pruned it, so hopefully next year we'll get some blossoms. peach trees 601593

I really appreciate the SFGer that mentioned the Dave Wilson Backyard System! Quiltbea, I look forward to seeing your harvests!
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Post  cheyannarach on 5/10/2012, 9:38 pm

This is a very informative thread, thanks for all the great info, I just got a peach tree too and this answered many questions. The only thing I am confused about is when I plant it I watched the Gurneys how to plant a tree video and they put leaf mold compost in the hole with the original soil when planted I have read other places that say do not amend the soil when you plant because it could make your rootball never leave the amended soil. Any recommendations?peach trees 601593
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Post  philct on 5/10/2012, 9:45 pm

@morganfam7 wrote:I'm about to plant a tree I just bought but it's a lot bigger than the tree he was pruning. I wonder if I should do it in increments. I don't want to kill it. It's already leafed out.



I'd leave the tree as is until next dormant early spring then start cutting... I read there should be 3 main branches in a vase shape leaving the center open for air circulation... I didn't amend the soil at all, but feed it a 5 gallon bucket of water a week if there is no rain... Otherwise my whipling will just grow until next spring untouched.
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