Patio Peach Tree – Base Branch Not Producing

Q: I have a Patio Peach tree that I planted in the ground. It’s a beautiful tree with full and wide limbs. A branch has sprouted from near the base of the tree and it has now grown twelve feet tall but has produced no flowers or fruit. Will this branch ever produce or should I cut it back?

A: There are two kinds of ‘patio peach’. Some are genetic dwarves that are natural mutations of seedling trees. They have short internodes between adjacent leaves which yields dense foliage. Subsequent breeding has produced trees with attractive foliage and a rounded shape. The tree is capable of producing medium-sized fruit if it is properly pruned. Examples of genetically dwarf peaches include ‘Bonfire’, ‘Bonanza’ and ‘Southern Sweet’. The other kind of small peach is one that has been grafted to a dwarfing rootstock. These are categorized as ‘patio peaches’ because of their small size but sometimes the peach variety that’s been grafted to the dwarfing rootstock is not noted, leading to peach trees that are simply labeled ‘Patio Peach’. Even though the rootstock dwarfs peaches grafted to it, some rootstocks will grow large. That, I think, is your situation: the rootstock has sent up a vigorous branch. It should be removed immediately, before it affects the growth of your desirable dwarf peach.

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