The “Elberta” peach tree (Prunus persica “Elberta”) lives up 20 decades and grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. The tree produces as much as 150 pounds of fruits every year with proper care. “Elberta” peach trees need well-drained dirt and at least six to eight hours of sunlight daily. The ideal spot also offers protection from heavy winds and early frosts that could damage the flowers.
Planting “Elberta” Peaches
Eliminate all grass and weeds in a 4-foot diameter round the planting site. Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of compost over the planting site and dig it into a depth of 12 inches. The compost helps improve soil drainage and adds nutrients. By adding the compost to the entire planting area, you give the roots loose dirt to establish quickly.
Dig a hole approximately twice as broad as the potted tree or burlapped root ball. For bare root “Elberta” peach trees, make the hole wide enough to spread out the roots in the bottom. Dig the hole deep enough to allow the tree crown to sit just above the soil level.
Place the “Elberta” peach tree in the hole. Cut any strings on a burlapped tree and pull the burlap back to expose the cover of the main ball. Spread bare roots out into the hole. Arrange the tree therefore the back sits straight. Check that the graft site sits about 2 inches above the soil line.
Fill the hole with the removed soil, 2 inches at one time. Water to settle the dirt. Keep on filling and watering. Once you cover the top of the main zone, utilize any excess dirt to create a berm, or ridge, around the main area to hold water.
“Elberta” Peach Tree Care
Water the “Elberta” peach tree every seven to 10 days when rainfall falls under 1 inch per week. Peach trees need around 40 gallons of water every day in the heat of summer. Watering across the drip line for approximately 20 minutes once a week usually gives the tree enough to thrive.
Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch, like shredded hardwood or bark chips, over the planting site. Keep the mulch pulled back at least two inches from the base of the back. Reapply mulch each spring to maintain a 3- to 4-inch layer.
Prune the tree to maintain its shape and style, which is usually an open center system for “Elberta” peach trees. Remove about one-half of new development each year and any damaged or dead branches. Use pruning shears for divisions under 3/4 inch and lopping shears for branches as many as 2 inches in diameter. Make heading cuts about 1/4 to 1/2 inch above a bud with the cut sloping off in a 45-degree angle.
Broadcast 12-12-12 fertilizer below the drip line of the tree starting six inches away from the back. Use 1 pound a year of age of the tree, around 5 lbs. Apply the fertilizer before spring growth begins and water the area to push it into the dirt.
Reduce the fruits to eight inches apart when they climb to approximately 1 inch in diameter. Thinning peaches gives each fruit room to adult without crowding and increases your overall creation.
Check the tree periodically for diseases and insects. Eliminate any damaged parts. Pick egg sacs or bigger insects by hand. Treat pest infestations with olive oil along with fungal diseases with a fungicide, after the manufacturer’s directions. A preventive fungicide treatment while the “Elberta” peach tree has flowers helps prevent any disease problems.