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We bought our house in 2019 came with several extremely large and mature fig trees and 4 peach trees (3 white and 1 yellow). The first year we had more fruit than we knew what to do with and the yellow peaches were huge. With the last couple winters and a drought last year we lost all the white peach and fig trees, and our yellow tree has lost a significant amount of its branches.

I just pruned all the dead dry branches I could reach, which took all but 2 of the scaffolding branches. How can I encourage branches to grow lower down? Is that even possible? The tree is probably ~15 ft. tall and all the still living branches are way up high; the closest one to the ground is about 8 ft.

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  • In some cases topping the tree (i.e. cutting it above the 8ft branch) may help it to sprout lower branches, but in this case that seems unwise if so much of the tree is already dead, and that might just kill it. Perhaps next year if it seems to grow OK this year...
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 4 at 15:20

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You might be best served planting new peach trees.

Being in a peach marginal zone and having grown up in a zone too cold for peaches, I was somewhat surprised to find that typical advice for peach orchards is to replant in 12-20 years, as apparently old productive peaches are unusual.

https://www.hmcfarms.com/lifespan-of-a-peach-tree/

https://extension.psu.edu/peach-production

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