smoxi
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Puny peaches

Would love some help for my peach tree, I planted it about 9 or 10 years ago, its a dwarfish variety, might have the label somewhere, its about 10foot, it blossoms lovely every year and forms nice fruits but they never plump up, stones are well formed just no flesh, I'm begining to think it might be lack of water, could that be possible?
The ground is free draining and we have had repeated years of drought, this year we are still in drought but having loads of rain and it (like all my trees and bushes) is putting on an amazing amount of green growth, this is making me realise just how short of water we have been! Could it be just the lack of water, should I give it some feed of some description?

valley
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Re: Puny peaches

Water would make a difference, but I'm thinking feeding them also. Jona, I think would be the one to answer this. If he get wind of this thread he will answer I'm sure..

Richard

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Re: Puny peaches

Do you thin the fruits? Peach trees tend to overproduce which can cause the fruit to not ever get large. If you thin the fruit when they are still pretty small to about one every six inches it should help.

Fruit trees are actually extremely drought tolerant once established. Commercial orchards here in California only water about once a month during the summer. When they do water they water for 24 hours with micro sprinklers. You can even use fruit trees with things like succulents and they usually do quite well.

I fertilize my trees at least once a year when they bloom in the spring. Do you fertilize at all? If you notice something like yellowing leaves or the tree not growing then you would need to fertilize. If you fertilize right now the tree probably will not do much with it this year but it will take it up and store the nutrients for next year.

JONA878
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Re: Puny peaches

Hi smoxi
Peaches do benefit from a little thinning if they have set very heavily. They are best as singles. with a six inch or so gap between them. It sometimes looks a little drastic but they are larger in size and much easier to pick...so the finishing weight is just the same if not better.
They do benefit with a good regular watering as they approach harvesting. I believe peaches are similar to apple in that the cell division that makes up the final peach takes place earlier in the fruits development. After that its a case of blowing those cells up. So good water supply is a great help.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

valley
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Re: Puny peaches

Greetings Jona, We didn't have the heart to thin this year, next year I'll do that for sure. What fertilizer would be best. We have a good supply of manure. Thanks

Richard

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Re: Puny peaches

All of my trees do well with a general fruit tree food. You do not want something that has a ton of nitrogen. You want to feed at least once a year when they are blooming but if you have sandy soil you can go up to 3 times a year.

JONA878
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Re: Puny peaches

Hi Valley.......so agree with Reptile. High nitrogen in a good growing tree is not needed and can cause problems. All fruit needs high potash as it ripens so its better to use a higher ratio K to N.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

NatureHillsNursery
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Re: Puny peaches

Last year we had a bumper crop of all of our fruit trees and bushes. The peaches were so prolific in fact, that some of the branches were almost touching the ground from the weight of their fruit. We even had a couple branches break off! Perhaps, as others have suggested, you could try thinning out your fruit. Having less fruit on the tree allows it to devote more resources to less fruit, thus usually producing a better harvest overall. We thinned ours out significantly last year, and found that it not only saved a lot of branches, but gave us bigger (and better), peaches. Hope you find the answer to your peach problem!

smoxi
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Re: Puny peaches

Wow! I had an admin message which I nearly dumped as I thought it was some sort of spam so thanks guys for finding this and for your replies. So a little update on my lovely tree...

In 2012 when I posted the original message, I had reluctantly thinned a bit already but not to the 6inch rule, I watered, mulched and read what I could about cultivation ready for 2013. 'Peaches' were still puny.

2013, good blossom, removed every sign of leaf curl and binned it, thinned developing 'fruits' strictly to 6-9 inches, watered, spoke nicely to the tree and begged it to at least give me one peach or let me somehow know what it needed. The season progressed and the 'fruits' continued to develop, got to about August and they started to split and shrivel and drop off the tree :(

I binned all the fallen ones in case of harbouring leaf curl but a friend had mentioned the benefits of peach kernel for micro b vitamins and that maybe I could at least have the benefit of that for all my efforts, so as I cleared the last of them I got a hammer to break the stone and wow tasted like really strong marzipan!

Doh!

My poor tree, all this time I've been binning the fruits as it was sold to me as a peach tree, when in fact it is a beautiful almond tree! I ate the rest of the fruits to no ill effect, I still cannot decide despite lots of reading, whether it is a sweet or bitter type so I just limited the amount consumed to avoid risk of poisoning.

So this year I've left all the fruits on the tree, and it is self thinning much like my hazelnut. I've had to gently tie a couple of the branches as they are not used to the weight of carrying all the fruits and but I am expecting a bumper crop!

I took photos of the blossom to try to determine whether its a sweet or bitter variety but been so busy I've not had a chance to follow that up. I also have a friend whose family grew almond trees so I'm hoping when they are ready that she will do some tasting for me.

I spent a good long while cursing the nursery that put the wrong label on the tree, and berating myself for throwing away all those lovely fruits for all those years! Also bought a peach in the spring, its only a whip so will take may years yet to get to the thinning stages but I will know what to do when it does, one day I will get a peach :)

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Re: Puny peaches

Well at least you figured it out. A picture would have been extremely helpful here by the way :P

smoxi
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Re: Puny peaches

Hope this works, a picture of the blossom taken early March:
Attachments
GEDC1725.JPG

smoxi
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Re: Puny peaches

And this is from a couple of weeks ago when I was on snail patrol, bit hard to see but the 'peach' tree is in the background
Attachments
GEDC0606.JPG

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