Need help with tree ID

bigvinnieMarch 18, 2013

Was given this tree as a gift 4 years ago. The gifter did not know what it was, only some kind of fruit. Rabbits nearly killed it off a couple of times, but I wire-meshed it and it survived.

This is the first year that I've gotten these beautiful pink blossoms from it. it's now about 4 feet tall and has two prominent "trunks" (see pic), in additon to some other long branches growing from the base... figure I should probably choose one and prune the others off, but leaving as is for now.

I'm thinking maybe apricot or plum, but just a wild guess.

Hoping the blossom will help with identification....?

Can post more pics if needed.

Thanks in advance.

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Definitely a peach or nectarine. If it weren't for those darn rabbits you could have a nice big, productive tree by now. My Elberta will be 5 years in the ground this spring, and I've had to prune it back to 12 feet tall. It's as thick as an arm at the base.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Hi There,

It looks like peach or nectarine indeed, both leaves and the flower.

Your statement "in additon to some other long branches growing from the base...", sounds like water sprouts from the rootstock.

Could you please post a picture of the base of this tree? Seeing a picture will make it easy to tell. If they are water sprouts, you need to remove them.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Thanks for the replies...

Here's a pic of the base, it actually has 4 trunks... two in the middle are about 2 ft. each and pale in color, and the two on either side are the darker, taller 4 ft. ones that I mentioned in my first post...

They all have leaves and appear to be healthy, but only the 2 taller ones have buds or blossoms...

Two questions...
Should I remove the shorter ones now..??
Should I also pick a taller one and cut off the other..??

I googled around and looked at necartine and peach blossoming trees, and also plum blossoms.... they all look like a close match to what I have. How are you able to tell the difference between these... must be very subtle.

Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 1:25PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Peach or nectarine, and you're going to have to try to ID which are the rootstock sprouts, and which are from the main tree. Try to find the graft line on the trunk of one of the four main trunks. In your photo, it appears that the trunks on the far left and far right are slightly different in color, and may be from the rootstock, especially if there is no graft line. Rootstock can be more vigorous than your grafted cultivar, and it will eventually take over and your grafted cultivar may end up dying. So, look carefully at each of the trunks for that graft line. THAT is your peach/nectarine tree. All others should be pruned out. It's not about size, it's about identifying which of these 4 trunks are rootstock and which is actually your tree.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Do you remember if you planted the tree with its graft union above ground or underground?

If it's underground, you should pull away the soil to find out which trunks are from above the graft union, which are under (from the rootstocks). Sprouts under the graft union must be removed.

I can't see the trunks clearly in the pic because of dirt on them. You should clean out the dirt and check the graft line,too.

I hope rabbits did not chewed away the grafted cultivar and left you with all rootstock sprouts. I've not heard good things about quality of fruit (if it ever fruits) from rootstock sprouts.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 6:25PM
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ok, did some research on what a graft line looks like, then dug down to the root stock.... this may be the best pic that would show which is the grafted trunk...

In the pic are three trunks, the fourth is behind the middle one... the only one that looks to me as if it could have been grafted is the one on the can see that it forks off a trunk below it... the other part of that fork that goes between the middle and right trunks terminates just beyond what you can see in the pic, and is dead...

The other three trunks emerge from below the one in question, which are probably rootstock sprouts...??

Eagerly awaitng your expert evaluation...


    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:42PM
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here's the pic

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:43PM
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I'm also curious as to what this pic represents.... does this look like a graft or something else..?? Two of the trunks have this, about 4 inches from their attachment to the rootstock.

Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Thought I'd post one more pic of what could be a graft, as I'm certainly no expert... this is a bulged area that might be a graft... any thoughts..??


    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:07PM
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Hi Vinnie,

Disclaimer: I am no expert. I started my orchard in 2008, found this forum, have learned from my own experience and reading the forum for the past 5 yrs.

Different people will probably give you different opinion. From the pic, I strongly suspect that the grafted cultivar had died and what you've left with are rootstock sprouts. The second pic shows damage to the trunk. It could be a rabbit damage from way back or from a disease. The lower part of that damaged area looks like it's caused by a disease (fuzzy pic).

To me, all things considered, I'd give up on this tree. It has been repeatedly damaged to the point that you don't know what you are left with. The trunk does not look healthy and the overall growth of 4 ft in 4 yrs is really not good.

If you don't know how to graft or don't want to graft a known cultivar to it, it's not worth keeping, IMO.

If you still want a peach, you can buy it bareroot from a number of reputable on-line nurseries. If you don't want to bother buying on-line, buy a potted peach from a reputable local nursery. I'd not buy from Lowe's or Home Depot even though it's cheaper. Mislabeling seems to be a common mistake there.

Other people may suggest you keep this tree. To me, peach grows fast. You can possibly get fruit in the secod year after planting and definitely in the 3rd year, granted with no animal or disease damages to it.

I hope others would chime in. There are a lot of experienced peach growers in this forum esp. Olpea who owns a peach orchard.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Thanks for the input...

I think you may be right, as the grafts I've seen in my research were easier to identify... So yeah, I will probably replace this with something new unless someone here can spot a definite graft of some sort.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:17PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

No graft line anywhere I can see. The damage to the trunk you're showing is usually due to a broken branch. In fact, it may have been the entire grafted scion that broke off there. I agree, think you're probably dealing with all rootstock if you cannot see a clear graft on on of the paler trunks. And, I am not an expert either, but stone fruit grafts are pretty easy to spot.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 6:07PM
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Many thanks for the info, good to know I can replace this now....think I'll go for a peach...

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 6:21PM
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I planted my peach trees with graft union 2-3" above the soil. I was told that peach root/crown are fairly sensitive to root rot. Raising it higher up helps. I've been successful with this method. Some might disagree.

I killed my one peach tree with a rookie mistake. I bought this very attractive peach tree label "Red Haven" from a road side "nursery". It grew very well the first year but died after the first winter. Must not have been cold hardy for my zone and definitely not a real Red Haven.

You are in zone 9. There are a lot of southern peach varieties for you to choose from. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 8:31PM
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yeah there are a lot of nurseries in my area, so I'll have a lot of places to check out... will proably pick up some more citrus trees as well, as I have a lemon and lime that are doing great...

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 9:33PM
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