Peach tree won't ripen fruit

CentexronzMarch 7, 2014

If you have any answers I would sure like your opinion.

In 2008 I planted 4 peach trees. All have grown well but shown yellowing in the supper as I live on Alkaline soil(7.6).

Three set fruit that I manage to get some of and they taste good.

One tree(a variety called La Feliciana), the healthiest, prettiest one, looks great, sets fruit well that get big and look great. They develop that wonderful red blush and my mouth starts to water. I check for ripeness but they are hard. Then they start dropping off the tree 2-3 at a time while they are hard. No fruit ever ripens. This has happened 4 years running.

I use compost and an organic fertilizer which seems fine for the rest of the trees.

I am hoping this year will be different since I was able to keep the leaves green all summer by using a fertilizer with iron and an acidifier.

Any ideas what might be causing this?

Thanks

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

It sounds like the tree is more like a rootstock than what you think. Any chance the top died and you are now growing the rootstock? Can you see the graft union?

At any rate the fruit is what it is and won't change. So either replace the tree or graft it over to something else. No fertilizer or anything else you do will change the fruit as much as needed. Yes fertilizer, pruning, thinning, etc will affect fruit quality but not what you're facing.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 2:10PM
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Centexronz

Thanks fruit nut.

I looked closely at the tree trunk. Did not notice an obvious graft union so I checked them all. The graft is certainly harder to spot on a mature tree than on a young one. The tree in question has no "bulge" that looks like a graft.

The top did not die so I am thinking it is indeed a rootstock instead of a grafted peach. Bummer. Some of the prettiest peaches I have seen.
I have already planted replacements two years ago and they are definitely grafted to a rootstock that is suppose to be better for our alkaline soils. So I am hopeful for these.

I grew great peaches in the eighties with no disease problems in rocky shallow soil that was hard to grow anything in. Great production and I did not spray and used only manure and compost for fertilizer. Great taste also.

This time I've got the aberration of plenty of soil but struggle to even keep the trees healthy, much less get peaches. We'll see what this year brings.

Happy growing!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 3:45PM
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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Personally when they fall off I'd collect them and let them "finish ripening"--some at room temp and some in the fridge--do they ever soften up? They should not behave that way but WTF.

They're described as firm. Guess they are. Sounds like they'd make good pies.

Here is a link that might be useful: La Feliciana Peach

This post was edited by Fascist_Nation on Sat, Mar 8, 14 at 18:48

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 6:46PM
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calliope(6)

Are too many peaches being allowed to set fruit? Sometimes, on young trees, they'll abort if they compete with the tree for nutrients. The tree usually wins.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:13PM
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Centexronz

Thanks to all for the assistance.

I always heavily pruned the small dime sized fruit in order to limit their numbers.

I have tried keeping some fruit and trying to ripen them off the tree to no avail. Peaches normally do not ripen(reach maximum sugar production) off the tree anyway as I understand it. They just dehydrate. But I tried it anyway. The fruit did not soften for many days and when it did it was bitter. Not just one fruit but all that I tried.

I'm giving it this season to convince me and then out it goes.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 1:58PM
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curtis(5)

Checking for the graft union means something if you find it, but means nothing if you do not. It might have went away visually, or it might have settled after you planted them and is below the ground.

I read this thread this morning, so when at a friends place I checked his trees planted in 06. None have a detectible graft union, and his definitely are grafted trees.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 9:17PM
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curtis(5)

I agree with those who think you should make them over into known good varieties

This post was edited by cckw on Sun, Mar 9, 14 at 23:12

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 11:11PM
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