Can I cut a 5 yr old peach to 30" above graft?

datura222April 29, 2013

Is it possible to train an older central leading tree into an open vase shape?

This tree has about 43" of trunk before a scaffold limb even appears!

Will I kill this peach tree (double delight) if I cut it down to 30" above the graft union when it is dormant this winter?

If I could do this drastic cut and retrain the tree, can it only be done while dormant?

The trunk is about 1.5" in diameter

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datura222

Ooops, that is a double delight nectarine I meant....

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:18AM
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alan haigh

Such old wood is very unlikely to generate new shoots if you decapapitate the tree. That is the nature of peach and nect. wood. Pears, apples and many other species sustain dormant buds along all areas of the trunk that readily sprout when tree above is removed.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 6:45AM
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alan haigh

Such old wood is very unlikely to generate new shoots if you decapapitate the tree. That is the nature of peach and nect. wood. Pears, apples and many other species sustain dormant buds along all areas of the trunk that readily sprout when tree above is removed.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 6:46AM
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Dzitmoidonc(6)

Of course you can cut it. Chain saws cut bigger trees every day. And, if you are lucky enough, you might get a sprout or 2 below that. But, while these tiny side branches are growing, (assuming their weak crotch angle allows them to weather ice, snow, wind), the central trunk will likely rot. What you then have is a sliver of living bark up the side of a quickly rotting stump. If you spend time bracing this, after several years, you will get blossoms. Happened to me.

At that point, I thought I had succeeded where my orchard buddy said I would fail. Unfortunately, after admiring the blossoms and feeling proud (pride is one of the 7 deadly sins you know), we got a moderate wind storm that ripped the branch from the stump. I never told my buddy what happened, I just said the stump was taken out.

My tree was cut to about 30 inches. Trunk dia. about 4 inches. What I learned, priceless. The time it took to learn, about 4 years. Would I do it again? Not, if your aim is to grow fruit.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:54AM
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alan haigh

DZ, I've got plenty of decapitated trees doing very well after 15 years. If you get vigorous growth from new shoots the tree will outgrow rot- especially a young tree.

Most of the time a decapitated peach more than 3 years old just won't send up any new shoots IME. More likely to get shoots from the roots.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:01AM
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Dzitmoidonc(6)

Harvertman, which is it?

"Such old wood is very unlikely to generate new shoots if you decapapitate the tree. "

Or

"DZ, I've got plenty of decapitated trees doing very well after 15 years. If you get vigorous growth from new shoots the tree will outgrow rot- especially a young tree."

Peach trees (Prunus in general) rot very quickly (a couple of years) if the sap isn't running. Great, your trees were decapitated young, as was the OP's. He writes that his tree has a diameter of 1.5 inches (a young tree), and you write that it is unlikely to make shoots. Great. Now you write that young trees will make shoots. Well, which is it? Can't have it both ways.

You know, you go to such great lengths to disagree with everything I write, it makes me wonder how you have time to be so all informed on everything fruit. Since you consider yourself to be the expert on all fruit everywhere, I'll leave this forum to Your Greatness.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:59AM
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alan haigh

DZ, I hate it when people take contradiction personally- such a waste of time- my only aim is to get the facts straight as I believe them- this is simply not a personal medium and my response has nothing to do with trying to lord over you. But if you are looking for enemies I'm happy to provide you with that gratification, however much I consider your hostility misplaced- better an imaginary person than a real one, I guess.

I am, in fact, a fruit tree expert, and would have to be an absolute idiot not to be, given my 25 years making them my entire business and about 45 years of them being my living at least part time. I am extremely passionate about them and continue to try to get my own facts straight. I welcome contradiction as a potential learning opportunity even if it irritates me as a first reaction.

I decapitate pears and apples sometimes if I want to change them to another variety as it encourages a very vigorous response and shoots I can easily graft. I don't get the same results from peaches.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:29AM
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alan haigh

DZ, that said I should have mentioned that what you stated is absolutely accurate- a weak growing shoot trying to support a lot of wood is likely to fail. I was simply trying to make the whole matter completely clear.

If you decide to continue to participate on this forum, I will try to give you your due credit and am sorry that I apparently have failed to do this in the past.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:43AM
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rayrose(8)

Harvestman, not trying to play referee here, but I can understand DZ's frustration to your response. It was poorly written and did read like double talk.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:50AM
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alan haigh

Rayrose, yes, you do want to play referee here- what else are you doing, and that's fine. However, if you read both of my first responses it should be pretty clear what I wrote.

DZ did not specify species and what he wrote was unclear from my perspective, but I'm not going to say he wrote it poorly- that would be rude. He also said nothing about being irritated by my unclear writing only about what he sees as my arrogant writing style and my constantly contradicting whatever he writes, which I have no knowledge of but I'll take his word for it.

I really don't care if I offend anyone because they think I'm a know-it-all that reminds them of someone that annoyed them in high school. Enough people have thanked me for my input here that I believe I'm being generally helpful in spreading information about how to care for fruit trees.

I expect the complainers are generally unappreciative of all the free information they receive from people like me on the internet- but then, I would think that.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:58AM
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insteng

"I really don't care if I offend anyone because they think I'm a know-it-all that reminds them of someone that annoyed them in high school. Enough people have thanked me for my input here that I believe I'm being generally helpful in spreading information about how to care for fruit trees.

I expect the complainers are generally unappreciative of all the free information they receive from people like me on the internet- but then, I would think that."

I try to look through all the posts and appreciate the free information from people with a lot more expereince than I have. I figure if you don't agree with the advice then you don't have to take it. I've learned a lot on here and it is nice to be able to ask questions of people that do this for a living instead of just as a hobby.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:16PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

harvestman,

I am always grateful for the knowledge you share. I don't know where I would be in my fruit growing without you and several others here. I probably would have thought that 4 apple trees was all I had room for; but now it's over 50 trees and lots of bushes and I'm doing okay.

As you all know I had a box of trees stolen last month. Scottfsmith sent me a peach that had two grafts on it. What he did was cut the tree down to the graft and then grafted two scion onto it. I thought this was quite ingenious and will try to duplicate this technique if I ever have the need. (This picture was taken with my phone so look past the quality!)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:29PM
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alan haigh

Thank you both, Milehigh and Insteng. When I said above that "this isn't a personal medium" speaking of the internet, I only meant that as far as getting angry with posts of others as if they are personal insults (the only people who can legitimately insult you are those who know you well). It doesn't mean that I am not touched by the help I've received here or the thanks for any help I've provided.

I too have learned a great deal here, but apparently not how to make posts without offending some people, although I think I'm a bit more diplomatic than when I first began posting here.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:51PM
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