Taking Care of a Red Haven Peach Tree

The “Redhaven” peach, or Prunus persica, is famous for the beautiful pink spring flowers, sweet yellow fruit and amazing gold fall foliage. These peaches grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness between zones 5 and 9.

They should be planted and grown in full sun, well-drained soil, and be spaced from 18 to 20 feet apart from each other.  The “Redhaven” peach plant has a large, yellow freestone peach, which is harvested midseason. Usually, the trees reach around 25 feet, but are normally pruned to 15 feet.

There is also a dwarf version of the tree, called “Compact Redhaven,” which only reaches around 6 feet. These are planted 6 feet apart.

All “Redhaven’ peach trees need from 800 to 900 chill hours. They are resistant to peach leaf curl as well as bacterial leaf spot. With proper care, the trees can live for more than 40 years.

Taking care

  1. Get a balanced fertilizer and spread it 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 under the canopy of the tree each spring before the new growth starts. One pound of fertilizer should be provided for each year of its age.
  2. Water the tree once every week during both the first year and the fruiting season. It might need more frequent watering if any extreme dry periods occur where you live. The soil surrounding the tree should be moist at all times, but never soggy. You could mulch around the tree, which will help the soil retain the moisture.
  3. Next, thin the fruit on the tree when young peaches reach 1 inch in diameter. Tree will have already dropped some of the small fruit on the ground at this time. Remove the peaches until the fruit on the tree has from 6 to 8 inches of space between each other. This aggressive thinning is key to the fruit size, as well as sweetness of these peaches. The plants enjoy long ripening seasons, and might even produce a second round of fruit for you. If this happenes, thin this fruit to a 4 to 5 inches spacing.
  4. Harvest the “Redhaven” peaches when they are yellow and when they easily pull away from the tree. The beginning of July is the ideal harvest time. Check a couple of peaches for ripeness before harvesting the entire tree, as they tend to color early may trick you because they sometimes look riper than they actually are at that moment.
  5. Make sure to always clean the weeds and the grass from under the tree, to reduce the nutrients competition. Also clear out any fallen fruit under the tree, as well as leaves and other debris which occur throughout the growing season and winter season. All of these maintenance practices will ensure that the risk of a fungus attack is low.
  6. Last but not least, prune the peach tree annually during the late fall, after all the leaves dropped on the ground and the tree is dormant. Remove the potentially dead and diseased limbs, as well as any which grow toward the center and those that cross or rub against each other. Shape the tree so it resembles a vase, and cut off the branches which grow straight up. Last but not least, thin the canopy by removing the branches that  potentially shade the fruit at the center of the tree.


You will need a balanced fertilizer, pruning shears, mulch, a pair of weeding gloves, and a pruning saw.

You should not expect peach trees to produce significant fruit until the age of between 2 and 4 years.

Pay attention to your tree for any pest or fungal diseases, and treat it with the appropriate treatments if necessary. Ask for advice at your local garden center, as they can help you to properly identify and treat the problems that occur.