Dwarf Peach Tree
Thinking Of Planting A Dwarf Peach Tree?
A dwarf peach tree of two is a fine idea for the small yard or garden. They don't take up much room, and besides having a crop of tree-ripened peaches to enjoy in late summer, you get the bonus of a beautiful display of pink blossoms in the spring.
A dwarf peach tree doesn't give you tiny peaches either. It's just the tree that is smaller. The peaches will be the same size as you see in the store but will taste much better. There are a number of varieties to choose from. You just want to choose a variety that will do well in your climate. Two trees are better than one if you want a guaranteed good sized crop, as the trees need to be cross-pollinated if they're to bear large amounts of fruit.
Some dwarf peach tree varieties are small enough that you can plant them in a pot. This can work to your advantage if you live in an area where late frosts are predictable. A late frost, one that occurs when the tree is in full blossom, can cost you a year's harvest of peaches. A peach tree in a movable pot can be placed out of harms way in the event of a late frost.
Spring is the ideal time to plant a new peach tree. Depending upon the size of the tree you are putting into the ground, you may or may not get peaches the first year. If there's no crop the first year, or if you only get a handful of peaches, don't be too upset. Typically it takes a year after planting before a dwarf peach tree will start to produce. Most dwarf peach tree varieties grow rapidly to their expected height. Because of the rapid growth habit, placing new trees in the ground in the fall won't provide any advantage as far as next year's growth is concerned. Also, in colder weather climates, a young tree can be stressed by the colder weather if planted in the fall, whereas an established peach tree can handle cold weather well.
You can either look for a nicely shaped young tree with a root ball and plant it that way, or plant by the bare root method. Here you are starting with a smaller tree, but still should have some fruit the following year if you plant in the spring. A bare root tree will almost always be less expensive, but if cost is not an issue, a young tree with an established root ball may be your best choice.
An Elberta dwarf peach tree is always a good choice. The Elberta peach is probably the world's best known variety. The tree will mature to a height of about 15 feet, with a 10 foot spread. The fruit is large, and of course tasty. The Elberta is best planted in pairs to encourage cross-pollination, or you can plant one Elberta dwarf peach tree, and plant another variety, such as the Red Haven, as your second tree. This tree is not terribly fussy about the soil it's planted it, and is both drought tolerant and insect resistant.
The Red Haven is another dwarf peach tree, also reaching a maximum height of 15 feet. Some say the Red Haven is the best tasting of all peaches, others prefer the Elberta. You can enjoy the best of both worlds by planting one of each! If you start out with a "whip" a tree consisting of a skinny stem with no branches, prune it the first couple of years to encourage branching, and you will get larger crops. If you start with a "whip" it may be two years before you see your first peaches. If you can't wait that long to bite into a Red Haven, the fruit of which tends to be very large indeed, purchase a small tree that has already started to branch out. You should have peaches the following year.
If you want something smaller in a dwarf peach tree, look for the Southern Rose. It only grows to a height of about 5 feet, with a 3 to 4 foot spread. An ideal candidate for growing in a pot. Like other peach trees, the Southern Rose puts on a beautiful display of pink blossoms each spring.