peach espalier

houstongardener09January 21, 2010

Hi i live in houston texas and i just recently planted a may pride peach tree in heavy clay soil along a fence. my county extension agent told me not to amend the soil because the amended area would fill with water. so instead i built a mound of garden soil and compost. I was also hoping to espalier the tree in possibly a fan shape but im unsure as to wether its worth the effort. Anyone have any suggestions or instructions?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

houston: It's worth the effort if you appreciate the beauty of that form. If you just want fruit, then don't bother. Many people like the open center vase shape for peaches. But most any form will work if you prune properly each year, have a strong tree shape with strong crotches, and thin heavily.

I think you did the right thing making a mound. Good luck!!

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 10:27PM
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alan haigh

I don't have any experience espaliering peaches and I think the reason is that they are difficult to prune to precise shapes because they don't automatically put out new wood where you want it and yet all leaf and flower buds form on last years growth. I think if they were reasonably easy to maintain as a formal shape I'd see them on the estates I work. I know this advise isn't that useful, and I hope someone responds who has actually grown peaches as an espalier. One thing I know is that you don't need the extra reflected light where you are.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 5:40AM
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well its close to the fence so im not sure if the vase shape would be practical because one of the scaffolding branches would probably run into the fence does anyone have any instructions for a fan shape espalier

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 10:29AM
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alan haigh

First of all, you have to emulate the shape of an old fashioned hand powered fan and not a modern electric one. Ha ha.

You have to begin the shape the first year by cutting the tree down to the height you want to start the fan. The branches will eminate from the first couple of inches below the point where you cut. With pears and apples you can cut into 2 year or older wood and new growth will form at the point of the cut, but with peaches you sure can't count on it. I've killed young peach trees by decapitating them to 2 year old wood that had no 1 year wood below.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 12:05PM
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