The modeling of long bone surfaces during linear growth is a key developmental process, but its regulation is poorly understood. We report here that parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) expressed in the fibrous layer of the periosteum (PO) drives the osteoclastic (OC) resorption that models the metaphyseal–diaphyseal junction (MDJ) in the proximal tibia and fibula during linear growth. PTHrP was conditionally deleted (cKO) in the PO via Scleraxis gene targeting (Scx-Cre). In the lateral tibia, cKO of PTHrP led to a failure of modeling, such that the normal concave MDJ was replaced by a mound-like deformity. This was accompanied by a failure to induce receptor activator of NF-kB ligand (RANKL) and a 75% reduction in OC number (P ≤ 0.001) on the cortical surface. The MDJ also displayed a curious threefold increase in endocortical osteoblast mineral apposition rate (P ≤ 0.001) and a thickened cortex, suggesting some form of coupling of endocortical bone formation to events on the PO surface. Because it fuses distally, the fibula is modeled only proximally and does so at an extraordinary rate, with an anteromedial cortex in CD-1 mice that was so moth-eaten that a clear PO surface could not be identified. The cKO fibula displayed a remarkable phenotype, with a misshapen club-like metaphysis and an enlargement in the 3D size of the entire bone, manifest as a 40–45% increase in the PO circumference at the MDJ (P ≤ 0.001) as well as the mid-diaphysis (P ≤ 0.001). These tibial and fibular phenotypes were reproduced in a Scx-Cre-driven RANKL cKO mouse. We conclude that PTHrP in the fibrous PO mediates the modeling of the MDJ of long bones during linear growth, and that in a highly susceptible system such as the fibula this surface modeling defines the size and shape of the entire bone.