Peaches are small fruits with sweet yellow or white flesh covered with a fuzzy peel. They originated in China over 8,000 years ago and are related to plums and cherries. They’re considered stone fruit as their flesh surrounds a shell housing an edible seed.
Peaches take some time to grow. Below, we’ve shared how long it takes for peaches to grow.
How Long Do Peaches Take to Grow?
Many factors influence when and how much your peach tree will give fruit. Some of these variables include the variety of peach, the weather conditions of the previous winter, and the tree’s size. The climate has an impact on the time of year your peach trees give fruit as well. Your new peach tree may fail to grow if you don’t live in the proper growing zone. USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 are where these trees can be found.
How to Plant a Peach Tree?
It takes three to four years to grow a peach tree from seed to fruit, so buying a young tree from a nursery and planting it in your backyard is a better option.
- Decide on a variety of peach tree that thrives in your particular region of the world. You should plant peach trees in areas with hot summers and chilly winters (less than 45°F). The majority of peach types require a period of time in freezing conditions to fully mature. The “chill hour requirement” of a peach tree refers to this period of cold dormancy. Consider how many chilling hours your climate typically has before making your peach selection to ensure that it satisfies the requirements for your selected peach variety.
- In the winter or early spring, sow seeds. To give your peach tree the full growth season to adapt to its new habitat before winter, plant it early in the spring. Plant dormant trees without soil on their roots (bare-root peach trees) in late winter.
- Select a planting spot in broad sun. It’s best to find a place that gets lots of sun and is well-protected from the wind. Choose a location with sandy, well-drained soil that has a pH between 6 and 7. Instead of using a regular garden bed, use a raised garden bed or a container filled with sandy, fertile potting mix if your soil is poorly drained.
- Plant the tree by digging a hole and inserting a tree stake into it. Make the hole twice as broad and a few inches deeper than the root ball of the tree. The tree stake should be hammered into the earth at least two feet deep, just adjacent to the hole. To begin, dig a tiny hole and add a little mound of earth at the base. Next, put the tree in it. Make a mound of earth and plant a tree in the middle of it. At least two to three inches of the graft union (the hump on the lower trunk where the scion meets the rootstock) should be above ground level. Half-fill the hole with soil and carefully mix it around the plant’s roots.
- Fill in the planting hole with soil and water it well. Wait for the water to drain after soaking the soil. Next, see if the tree’s trunk depth has changed and make any required adjustments. Add more soil to the hole to finish it out.
- Soil basins may be built in a day. Prepare the root zone by piling three to six inches of soil around the perimeter. Spread an organic mulch over the root zone to keep the soil moist while also allowing water to sink in. Mulch aids in moisture retention and enriches the soil.
- Prune the tree’s side branches and crown. Reduce the tree’s height to 30 inches. Having a lot of fruiting wood on your young tree assures that when the tree matures, you’ll get more fruit. Use tree ties to secure the tree’s trunk to the stake.
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Pruning Peach Trees
Pruning peaches is a necessary evil that should not be avoided at all costs. Leaving peach trees unpruned causes them to weaken, become infected, and produce less fruit throughout the course of the year. Flowers and fruit appear on second-year wood; therefore, the trees must develop vigorously during each growing season to provide a supply for the next year.
As fruiting wood, there needs to be a significant number of red 18- to 24-inch shoots every winter. Without annual pruning, the fruiting shoots will grow taller and higher until they are no longer within reach. Annual, moderate pruning is critical for controlling tree vigor and fruiting wood over the long term. Alternate-year pruning causes excessive growth the year after heavy pruning.
- Make sure to open the tree’s center with pruning. During the first year’s summer, prune the tree’s robust top shoots back to two or three buds. Check the tree again in approximately a month.
- After you have three equally spaced wide-angled branches, prune the others to make room for these three.
- Reduce the tree’s central branches to stubs in the second year’s early summer and trim any new growth below the tree’s main branches. Remove any shoots in the tree’s center after the third year to keep it symmetrical.
- Annual pruning will help the tree produce more fruit. Pruning takes place in the middle to end of April. In the summer, it’s a good idea to pinch the trees.
Total Tree Lifespan and Growth
The California Backyard Orchard at the University of California estimates that a well-maintained tree will survive for 15 to 20 years if properly cared for. As a tree, it has a relatively short lifespan when compared to others. Peak production occurs between the fourth and eighth years of a tree’s life. With each consecutive crop, the trees yield less and less peach fruit until you may want to start thinking about planting new trees by year 12.
Regular peach trees should be cut to a height of 15 feet to 5 meters to allow for easy harvesting and tree care. Alternatively, if space is at a premium in your yard, consider planting smaller trees.