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Avatar for permanewbie
May 16, 2020 3:00 PM CST

Hello everybody!
I am completely new to this subject. I've researched, but haven't found information specific to my problem, so I hope someone hereabouts can help me. I was given a young (2-3 years old I guess) poorly pruned peach tree (pictures attached) in a 2 gallon pot. From what I saw, the roots don't seem to be very well developed (far from being root-bound). I planted it with a mixture of the sandy soil it came in, some store-bought garden soil, and some natural fertilizer. It's about 10 feet tall, and 12-18 inches above the ground - where I'm thinking of pruning below the two, narrowly crotched scaffolding branches - the trunk is one inch in diameter. In other words, from what I've read and seen, I need to chop it back to a stub to create 3-4 new, better angled scaffolds. My questions are: should I in fact do this, is it ok to do it now in the middle of May, and how risky is it? I am in Ankara, Turkey, which I'm told has a climate similar to Denver. Thanks in advance for your help!

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Close-up of trunk below the scaffolds
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Avatar for permanewbie
May 18, 2020 8:02 AM CST

I just noticed that both branches of the fork appear to be grafted also. So 3 grafts in total. Am I correct, and does this matter in what to do? Photo below. I've also added a photo of the first three branches on the most upright main branch. So if I prune the other main branch, these will be the new scaffolds. They are about 4 feet from the ground.

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Avatar for oneeyeluke
May 20, 2020 1:41 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
Those aren't grafts their bark joints. It's never a good ideal to prune a tree when its actively growing. Always do your major pruning in the Winter when the tree is dormant. Since your tree has started leaf production you need to leave it alone until Winter.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Avatar for permanewbie
Jun 5, 2020 6:59 AM CST

Ok, thanks, oneeyeluke.
Jun 12, 2020 8:35 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
It's not the correct time to prune peaches indeed. Other than that, I don't know much about peaches and how vigorous/how much pruning they can handle, but there's a chance you might loose the tree if you cut it that hard (not all woody perennials react the same way to such harsh treatment).

On a side note: never, EVER plant a woody perennial in bought garden soil (which I think you meant is actually bark based potting compost?), only ever use your native soil and don't amend it with anything (no compost, no fertellizer, nada). These are outdated practices.
Second, just because you didn't see any root binding (bounding? Shrug! ) doesn't mean there aren't any root problems further inside the root mass like circling/girdling roots which are a death sentence to woody perennials.
Below is a photo of what happens alot in pot grown shrubs and trees: they get started out as seedlings/cuttings in p9's (or whichever) and every once in a while are potted on to the next size up without any care in the world (read: no root assessment or correction nor the right depth). Result: circling and eventually girdling roots that more often than not don't outgrow their initial pot size and you'll end up with a dead shrub or tree.

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The new, better way to plant woody perennials is to wash off all potting medium and to inspect their root system for defects. Cut off everything slightly wrong and plant in your native soil AT THE RIGHT DEPTH. That means the soil line should be where the trunk widens into the roots (root flare). Planting too deep suffocates the roots which again leads to death.

Anywhow, that was my rant to you. Good luck. Thumbs up
Last edited by Arico Jun 12, 2020 8:38 PM Icon for preview
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