I live out in the country in Illinois. A friend of mine has a wonderfull peach tree that gets the biggest and best peaches that I have ever had. A couple of years ago I told her that I wish I had a tree like that. Well she surprised me yesterday by bringing me 2 small peach trees that came from hers. She quit mowing under hers and let the babies grow. Now I have to figure out what to do with them. We live in the same community, so I am thinking that we have about the same soil. These 2 trees are about 4 feet tall and are a straight branch up with 2 or 3 small branches coming off the top. Everything I read says to cut them off to about 36-38 inches. Am I really suppose to cut these babies? Can't I just plant them and let them grow as they are? Also, they are in great big pots. She dug up about a foot all the way around, so do I need to take the dirt off and soak the roots before I plant? I don't know what the difference between a homegrown tree and a nursery tree is. I would love all the help I can get. Can't wait to be eating nicw juicy peaches in a couple of years. Thanks.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You do not need to top prune them. This is done by orchards and nurseries to encourage branching, but if you don't want to, you don't need to. Just plant them into a hole where the rootball, dirt and all will fit and where they will be at the same level. The less you disturb the roots, the less likely they will go into transplant shock. This information will help you with their transplanting and initial care: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/environmental/learn-how-to-avoid-and-repair-transplant-shock-in-plants.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/watering-newly-planted-tree.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/peach/fertilizing-peach-trees.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/peach/peach-tree-care.htm