More on pruning peaches

alan haighFebruary 14, 2013

For any of us who can benefit from a commercial growers approach to pruning peaches and nectarines this article may be interesting.

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Thanks for the link. This article is the first time I have ever seen anyone recommending relatively less thinning for later peaches, its something we talked about here but I never saw it written up anywhere. One of the advantages of my really late peaches is I can about double the load on them.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:31AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Harvestman thanks for the post that is a nice article. One question, do you realize how easy it is to post a direct link? Then everyone doesn't need to do it themselves. It takes only a little more time than what you did above.

My real takeaway from the article isn't about pruning. It's about the crop load vs fruit maturity relationship. Later maturing peach and nectarine can carry a much heavier crop because they have much longer to size the fruit.

Also I grow great nectarines on those old weeping laterals that he warns against. I used to agree with him. But my fruit is huge and high brix on laterals that would likely make the author sick.

Direct link to harvestman's post below.

Here is a link that might be useful: pruning and thinning vs peach maturity

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:24AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Yeah thanks Hman for posting articles like that.

Fruitnut, you bring up a great point. I think the smaller laterals the article talks about are more of a problem with outside orchards. I bet your greenhouse trees allow much more sunlight throughout the canopies because they are much smaller. And as I understand from your previous posts, you also don't have to fight the vigor (and constant shading) from your potted trees vs. open orchards that typically receive lots of rainfall. That probably also makes a big difference in fruit quality from weaker shoots (i.e. the weaker shoots are already in a disadvantaged area of the tree and get shaded more in vigorous trees.)

I've noticed those weaker shoots do produce smaller and less sweet fruit for my outside trees. I intend to get more aggressive about pruning weaker shoots. They take a ton of time to thin and the fruit is not as good anyway (at least for me).

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:20PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I agree with your analysis. My outdoor trees even though they didn't seem badly shaded seemed to produce poor fruit on those weak hanger laterals underneath the tree. But it just doesn't seem to matter on my greenhouse trees with reflective fabric on the floor. That despite the fact that the light coming through the greenhouse covering has to be no more than 40% of outdoors. The greenhouse light is much more diffuse than outdoors.

A couple pictures of wood that produces one lb high brix nectarines in greenhouse. Some hangs straight down and most has only a few fruit buds on the end of a long droopy lateral.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 1:39PM
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GreenOrchardMom(Ga Mts 7)

hmmm so I wonder about the use of a subtle reflective fabric under my trees?
I too have noticed a difference in the lower horizontal branches fruiting quality.
The snap of flavor less, the brix not so much less interestingly.
I only allow a few to remain sort of as insurance against too hot a spring.
Just pruned off most yesterday before that awesome tip fruitnut, too bad I hadn't read this thread.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Excellent article. Even though, I am not a commercial orchardist, I want larger fruit. This article about pruning will give me just that. I do my pruning and first spray next week. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:10PM
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