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I have a white peach tree that I planted about two years ago. Last year, I found that the tree had many little dead branches so I pruned them off. After pruning, the tree now has only several long thin branches left. Then, this spring, I wished that I would see the growth of more new branches and leaves. But, there is no sign of new twigs coming out either from the trunk and the existing branches and the leaves are coming out only from the tip of the branches (not from the middle part).

Does this tree look OK? Is there anything I can do to make the tree grow more branches and leaves?

picture of the peach tree

  • Peaches require heavy pruning to force lateral growth in the desired areas. What form/size were you going for? – J. Musser Apr 4 '17 at 0:31
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    @J. Musser I want it to be moderate height and width (not too tall and not too wide). I guess around 7~8 ft of height and 5~6 ft of width when it fully grows. – DSKim Apr 4 '17 at 2:24
  • I would cut it back by at least a third, and retrain these branches. Peaches grow fruit from year old wood, and regular hard pruning is required once your branch structure is established. Your tree looks like it could use a balanced fertilizer. Also keep in mind that if it fruits, it will need to not dry out or it will drop fruits. – J. Musser Apr 4 '17 at 15:40
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This is the main problem of peaches, they will not create new twigs, so you should really prune heavily the tree, so that the bottom twigs are always healthy (and not overpowered by higher branches).

The plants is already going too much in height. I would remove (after you have some peaches) the higher branches, so that the lower branches could expand.

  • Thanks for the advice. How much would you recommend to cut back the higher branches? The tree does not have many branches and I am concerned that entirely removing the higher branches may not be good for the tree. – DSKim Apr 3 '17 at 19:27
  • I have one more question. Those long thin branches do not have lateral buds in the middle part. In that case, up to what point should I make a cut if I do a heading cut? – DSKim Apr 3 '17 at 21:44
  • There is a principle "apical dominance", which tell us that high buds and branches will dominate the lower buds and branches: they will take most of energy, and so the lower branches will not grow and slowly they will fall. This is normal: you see in a forest that there is not many lower branches.Now you should check that the lower healthy (but maybe weak) buds and branches will get enough nutrients to develop [only where you want branches]. Cutting top branches will force the plant to open the buds below it (but check first that there are sleeping buds). – Giacomo Catenazzi Apr 4 '17 at 7:30

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