Identifying peach tree flower buds
My Reliance will be a 5th year tree. The trunk has a very bad case of canker. It has produced peaches for two consecutive years.
This winter we had two nights where the temp was at least -23 F, or lower. It was -23 at about 8 a.m. when I was driving to work per my car thermometer. South 20 miles from here it dropped to -41F at an official weather reporting station, but they must have been in the valley. Other places nearby were closer to -27 or -28F, so I am guessing we got down to -27F. This happened in January and the trees would have had a lot of opportunity to harden for witner before this event.
I ordered a third tree. My original thought was to remove the tree with canker and replace it in the same area with the new tree, figuring the canker tree will not fruit due to our extreme winter. But now I am not so sure because I was looking at my trees now that the snow is gone, and the buds appear to be healthy.
Can I determine whether the tree will produce flowers by the appearance of the buds at this early stage? If so, what am I to look for? I expect the new peach tree to arrive in late March. Could I set the tree in a bucket of water for a month or so while we look for flowers to bud? This would be easier if this were not the only Peach tree I have that has produced fruit.