Finding new plants to add to your landscape isn't always easy. For example, do you want to grow a peach tree in your garden but have no idea how big it will become? Is this fruit tree species super big? How much room do you need for a peach tree?
Luckily, we've done plenty of searching and have the answer below!
A peach tree will usually grow to reach heights/widths between 15 and 20 feet on average. However, larger peach trees can get over 25 feet with similar-sized spreads, making them a focal point in a garden.
One major factor in deciding how large a peach tree will become is how much space, water, and sunlight it has. In ideal circumstances, you can expect a 25-foot-plus peach tree.
As we start this article, we will cover all things growing a peach tree and discuss how big one should get. Whether you're looking for a new fruiting plant, have a peach tree, or need extra help, we've got you covered. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
Do Peach Trees Get Big?
Depending on the conditions, a peach tree can get big. Most times, the average peach tree will grow to be anywhere from 15 feet tall to around 20 feet with a similar spread.
This tree tends to widen out rather than tower over a garden, which is beneficial for peach collecting. Again, it's easily possible to see a healthy peach tree reach 25+ feet tall upon full maturity, so that's something to keep in mind.
For standard peach tree varieties, you can expect them to reach 20 feet or so when they're fully mature. In contrast, dwarf peach trees only reach 6 feet upon maturity, making them ideal for smaller gardens.
Since peach trees will produce delicious fruit once they're old enough, having a larger tree usually equate to more peaches for harvest. However, that is more true for spread versus height, so the wider your peach tree, the better.
It's also more common for wild peach trees to grow 25+ feet tall, as they have more land. If you want a massive tree in your garden, try giving it 25-30 feet of space to sprawl.
How Wide Should A Peach Tree Become?
Peach trees will usually develop a similar-sized spread to their height. Therefore, if the average tree grows around 20 feet tall, it should have the same size spread/width.
With that said, pruning can make a peach tree grow vertically versus horizontally. If you start shaping your tree young, you can expect it to keep that same shape as it matures.
If you want plenty of peaches and a towering tree one day, it might be better not to overdo it with trimming. Fruit trees don't always respond well to extreme pruning methods, so it's better to let them be.
As we said above, dwarf peach trees are much smaller, meaning their mature width could be as small as 4-6 feet. This can depend on the conditions, but more often than not, dwarf varieties will remain tiny.
So, if you want an easy-to-manage peach tree in your garden, we'd recommend a dwarf variety. If you prefer a sprawling option, then a regular peach tree is best.
How Long Does It Take A Peach Tree To Reach Mature Size?
You can typically expect a peach tree to reach mature size in 3 to 4 years. Since this species grows moderately fast, gardeners won't need to wait decades before seeing massive trees in their landscapes.
Within the first few years, your tree will require the most attention. Specifically, you want to ensure your fruiting tree gets enough water, sunlight, and nutrients from its soil.
Occasionally fertilizing a peach tree might be helpful to speed things up. However, with good growing conditions, your tree does not require additional products to grow to a mature fruit-bearing size.
It's also worth noting that growing a somewhat-established peach tree will be much faster than by seed.
If you want this to be a quicker timeline, we recommend purchasing a one-year-old peach tree or one 6 months old and planting it in your garden.
Peach trees also reach their prime in the eighth year, and their production declines after that. So, you'll have many years of successful peach harvesting.
How Much Space Does A Peach Tree Need?
The best spacing for peach trees would be between 15 and 20 feet. Furthermore, dwarf varieties only need about 10-12 feet of distance between each other, so keep that in mind.
A good rule of thumb for growing peach trees is to have enough room for one more in between them. This allows your tree to widen out as it matures and establish a strong root system.
Without enough space, your tree will fight with other plants for water, oxygen, and nutrients. Depending on your tree's age, this can cause it to grow slower and even die if the conditions are sparse.
One common misconception about peach trees is that they need a partner tree to make fruit. Unlike some fruiting species, peach trees are self-fertile.
Therefore, yours won't need to be next to another to produce fruit around year 3 or 4. On the contrary, it could be better for your trees to be farther apart to mature correctly.
How Long Does It Take For A Peach Tree To Produce Fruit?
Generally, it takes 3 to 4 years for a peach tree to produce fruit. As we said earlier, your tree's first few years will focus mainly on your plant's maturity and height/width rather than fruit production.
The first 2-3 years of a peach tree's life are somewhat dull, with no fruit and minimal branching/blooming. However, once your tree turns 3, you should witness the first few flowers and peaches form.
Although peach trees are typically dormant in the winter, they enjoy the cooler temperatures to produce flowers that bloom around mid-February. After that, your tree will rely on pollinators to aid in fruit production.
It's also crucial for a peach tree to be in cooler winter weather to prepare it to flower in the early spring. Specifically, your tree should see 500 to 1,000 hours of chilling (climates around 45 degrees) to have flowers by February.
Therefore, if the weather is unusually warm through the winter, your 3-4-year-old tree could still have a bit of a wait before the first few peaches form.
Does A Peach Tree Produce Fruit Forever?
Unfortunately, a peach tree won't produce fruit forever. Instead, this tree species needs 3-4 years to begin making fruit, which can be discouraging for hopeful harvesters.
On top of that, from years 4-8, your tree should be at its best production-wise, slowing down after its prime. Of course, that doesn't mean your tree stops making fruit after year 8.
Instead, your tree will continue producing peaches until it turns 12. That is typically when peach trees lose their ability to form peaches, ultimately slowing down their growth entirely.
The average lifespan of a peach tree (dwarf and regular) is 12-15 years, so this is one of the shorter-lived options to grow in your landscape. Again, many people plant a few trees, staggering their age, which will keep fruit in your garden.
Can You Keep A Peach Tree Small?
Yes! Pruning is your best bet if you have limited space or want to keep your peach tree small. Although the only way to keep a peach tree small is by trimming its branches, you could also purchase a dwarf variety.
As we said, dwarf peach trees grow to be between 6 and 10 feet tall and about the same size wide. Therefore, you can have a small tree in your garden simply by choosing the right variety.
For pruning, we recommend starting your tree on a trimming routine young. This will train it to stay a specific size as it matures, preventing it from going into shock.
Major pruning can harm a peach tree and affect its fruit production, so you want to do this periodically and be as minimal as possible. Aggressive trimming is not a good idea for any fruit tree, even if it is younger and hasn't bloomed yet.
According to garden experts, summer peach tree pruning is a great way to keep it small without damaging it and negatively affecting the year's harvest. Again, your tree should produce peaches in the springtime, so it's perfectly fine to prune by summer.
How Often Should I Prune My Peach Tree?
Most people want to prune their peach trees once or twice per year. Although summer pruning is good for maintaining a smaller tree, experts suggest you prune peach trees in spring, just as the buds swell and turn pink.
It's better to prune your peach tree too early than too late. For example, you don't want to take any sections off your tree during the flowering and fruiting season.
This can trick your tree into thinking it's time to slow production and get ready for the summer and fall, missing out on all the delicious peaches your tree would have made.
With that said, you can remove shoots developing in the center of a peach tree at any point in the year, as they block the sun and don't produce fruit or flowers.
Whether you have a peach tree or want to plant one, knowing how it grows is essential. A peach tree will generally grow to become 15-20 feet tall with a similar spread.
However, it's common to see a peach tree get to 25+ feet in ideal growing conditions, so make sure to give yours plenty of water, sunlight, space, and nutrients. Peach trees also take 3-4 years to produce fruit, so be patient with yours.
And while we have your attention, check out these related garden articles!