Pruning a peach tree

Asked August 13, 2020, 1:44 PM EDT

I was given a peach tree for Mother's Day this year. It came bare-root and we planted it right away. It was about 24" tall. Somehow, a few days later, the top 8" got broken off. We have no idea what happened. Anyway, now my tree is more like a whip. It has lots of lovely leaves and has grown to almost 6 ft. But it has no branches! I feel like I should cut it back, but I'm afraid to since it has no other visible shoots that would grown into branches. I have attached pictures.

Franklin County Kentucky

2 Responses

It is very normal for a young tree like this to grow as a whip. It is best to leave it alone until early spring. In mid March, prune the tree back to 2 or 2.5 feet. This will determine how high the side branches will be located off the ground. When side branches develop, choose 3 to 4 strong branches to maintain. They should be located in different directions growing out from the trunk. Remove unwanted branches by pruning back to the trunk. Your tree may bloom and try to produce fruit. If so it is best to remove the fruit for the first few years to allow the plant to spend energy developing a strong branch framework.

Thank you so much for this information.