10 year old Arctic Star Nectarine

letsskiFebruary 4, 2014

This is a photo of my Arctic Star Nectarine tree. Photo was taken on Jan 31st. It is the 1st of my trees to bloom. I'm going to update this post throughout the year showing bloom to harvest - kind of a year in the life.

Tree is about 6' tall. I'm located in SF Bay Area.

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MrClint

Nice! What a great nectarine. Mine is not in full bloom yet, but it's pretty close.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:40PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Nice job keeping the tree in bounds. I cut down my oldest Arctic Star this winter, from 2002. It produced some great fruit. Trunk was a lot bigger than yours looks, nearly 8 inches. It was planted 6ft by 8ft so never had a top much bigger than yours. I have another tree about 4 years old and one I just planted a week ago.

My 4 year tree is just swelling buds. Had to wait while I was chilling the cherries. I have many trees that bloom before Arctic Star. Honey May is about to open first flowers. Some pluots and apricots/aprium are also earlier to bloom.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:10PM
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letsski

The picture is misleading - the trunk at the graft is 12" around.

This tree produces tons of great fruit, but is susceptible to Peach Leaf Curl, Brown Rot and Western Flower Thrips (see attached for Thrip damage) I spray for all three conditions and usually keep it under pretty good control

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 12:14PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Not trying to outdo you on tree size. But your tree is small for 10 years. I like the smaller trees. One reason I took out the Arctic Star planted in my greenhouse March 2005 was it got too big.

The other tree in picture is Arctic Star planted Jan 2010 so it's been there 4 years, 5 less than big tree. But I've kept the younger tree pruned back much smaller than the older tree was allowed to get. The younger looks more like yours in terms of a trunk.

The big stump was cut a month ago and pulled out of the wood pile.

Better view of top and buds. This is a small tree considering it's going on 5th leaf. Both on Citation.

Trees in background are newly planted. I still need to decide how much to prune them back and how to train them.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Wed, Feb 5, 14 at 14:36

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 2:29PM
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mrsg47(7)

letsski, how do you keep the weeds from growing around the stones in your garden? Thanks, Mrs. G

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 2:51PM
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letsski

Fruitnut - yes, your stump looks much thicker than my tree. Maybe I'm measuring wrong. With the exception of my citrus trees, I don't water through the summer. I think it tends to stunt them a bit, plus I prune very heavily.

Mrs G47 - when I initially laid the stones down, I put a breathable barrier down first. I still get weeds, but I pull most by hand.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 5:47PM
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johnnycom_gw

Letsski,

Beautiful tree! I live in the North Bay area and have found nectarines to be trickier than peaches. Most of them have the thrip damage like your picture. Wondering what your spray regimen for the thrips (and brown rot) is?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:15PM
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melikeeatplants

What's the issue with thrips? I had that damage on my Arctic Jay nectarine last year and they tasted fine....

Is it only cosmetic?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 12:21AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

That damage may be thrips but it may also be relate to a water deficit in the tree and fruit. At least that's what my experience has been. When water is rationed back to increase brix the tip of the fruit can crack like that. It usually doesn't happen unless the deficit is severe. The variety that's shown that most severely for me has been Arctic Queen. But it was also in an area that was particularly exposed to sun and heat.

The OP said he doesn't water all summer. Anyone else experiencing this issue care to relay your watering regimen?

This post was edited by fruitnut on Thu, Feb 6, 14 at 9:19

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:11AM
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johnnycom_gw

On my nectarines, the cracking is usually associated with oozing and parts of the inside of the nectarine turn brown and rotten. Most of the crop is lost. My trees are irrigated with no water deficit. There are lots of pictures on google identifying damage similar to what I have seen as thrips damage.

I'm excited to have learned recently that a single spray of Spinosad at petal fall should take care of most of this problem. Interested to hear how OP has brought this under control.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 11:31AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

johnnycom:

Most of the crop being lost sounds more like brown rot. You won't see much rotting from water deficit or thrips. If the cracks are big enough there can be some rot. But I've never lost most of the crop.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 11:41AM
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letsski

I spray Spinosad just at petal fall for Thrips and seems to take care of most of the damage.

I have found that the scarring is much more prone to rot than intact fruit, over and above damage I get from Brown rot.

I'm attaching an image from UC Davis showing Thrip damage on Nectarines. It looked exactly like my fruit, which is how I diagnosed the culprit.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:33PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I don't have any fruit that looks like that. The water deficit cracking is only on the tip of the fruit. The earlier picture looks like the cracking is on the tip. The picture above has damage up on the side of the fruit.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:26PM
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johnnycom_gw

That last picture looks like my fruit (without the oozing). Spinosad at petal fall, here I come. I am really looking forward to some nice nectarines!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:35PM
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AJBB(9b)

Looks like classic Western Flower Thrip damage. It's the scourge of nectarines out here in Arizona as well.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:44PM
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letsski

It's interesting. I have two peach trees in the same area and never get Thrip damage on those. My nectarine does blossom as least a month before my peaches, so maybe it's a timing issue.

Both my nectarine and peaches are prone to PLC and Brown rot.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 12:56AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I'd suspect that peach fuzz is about like a briar patch for a thrip. No thrips on my nectarine so far. But they have shown up in the last two years on blueberry. Good to know about controls.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:57AM
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MrClint

I've gotten some zipper lines and scarring on nectarines, but nothing like what I see in some of these pictures. Definitely worth keeping an eye out for thrips.

Feeding nymph:

Scarring:

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:25PM
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kyyada(6B-7A)

fruitnut: I can't speak for fruit as I am a newbie but I grew greenhouse tomatoes (actually a tomato is a fruit) for several years, when they started to flag I would spray them down with a hose so I didn't keep the dirt overly wet. I had fans running which dried the leaves fast so disease was never a problem. Never lost a tomato to blossom end rot!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:27PM
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letsski

Here is an updated pic of my Arctic Star tree as it has now leafed out and set fruit. I've thinned about 80% of the fruit and still must have 200+ Nectarines left, each the size of about a quarter.

Even though I sprayed, still had about 20% of fruit scarred by Thrips. Removed the damaged Necs, so most look nice at this point.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 12:27PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

About how many fruit do you expect to leave? How big do your fruit get?

That's a very low vigor tree. Not what most here would consider an adequate level of vigor. And the fruiting wood is old and pendant. But my experience with trees like that, and I've had many, is that the fruit can be very high quality.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 12:57PM
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letsski

Actually it has quite a bit of new wood. I remove about 30-40% of old wood every year. I will end up with about 100 fruit. Here is a photo from last year (June 2013) that shows typical size.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 6:17PM
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MrClint

letsski, your tree and fruit look great! Thanks for sharing. 'Arctic Star' is truly a great nectarine.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 7:12PM
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brettay

Here in the north bay I had nearly 100% fruit loss from thrip damage and brown rot on my nectarines. I replaced them with peaches a few years ago and there has been absolutely no disease whatsoever.

-Brett

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 9:42PM
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awoodwaring(9)

Is it possible to control the damage from thrips after the fruit has set?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 11:03PM
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letsski

If the petals have fallen from the tiny fruit, then there's nothing you can do - the damage has already been done.

If the fruit is still forming inside the blossom, then spray away. I sprayed this year only once and got the damaged fruit down below 5%.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 7:06PM
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awoodwaring(9)

Thanks, and bummer. I missed the petal drop. :(

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:30AM
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letsski

Here's my Arctic Star about a month away from harvest. I thinned like crazy but still have a pretty good crop. Now have to keep the squirrels and Scrub Jays away.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:26PM
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letsski

Here's a close up of a few Nectarines. No more water for the last month.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:27PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

That things loaded!! Hope you can post a brix when they're ripe.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:44PM
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fruity123(7b)

How come you guys don't get peach leaf curl diseaseï¼ I have already lost two peach trees because of that. It is just that nectarines don't get them or your area doesn't have the spores?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 12:59AM
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MrClint

Looking good, letsski! I've started harvesting some of mine.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 1:20PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

fruity123:

PLC is an issue only in areas and yrs with wet springs. I've had 0.2 inches so far this yr. Zero PLC under those conditions.

Two or three sprays at the right time and you won't have PLC either.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 1:37PM
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letsski

I've had some terrible springs with PLC on this tree plus my two Babcock Peach trees. I finally found the right combination of dormant spray that has really helped.

Daconil sprayed around New Years and again around Valentine's Day has done a good job.

I'm now on the lookout for Brown Rot, which usually hits right around harvest time. I'll spray with Monterey Fungi Fighters at the first sign.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:21PM
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