help with peaches!

an_ill-mannered_acheApril 2, 2009

wandering over from the fla forum...

i have a peach tree (flordabelle, a UF semi-tropical peach) full of fruits. one or two larger ones, near the bottom of the tree, look like this:

From Gardening in Central Florida

any idea what it is? i sliced the fruit open very carefully in thin slices, and could find ZERO evidence of intrusion into the fruit. no worms, no tunnels.

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

It looks like Oriental Fruit Moth damage. I'm not sure why you are not seeing anything when you cut the fruit open; it could be they did not get very far in. You will know better later in the season when you will certainly find worm tracks if it is indeed OFM.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Ill Mannered:

The external damage you see is caused when the female oriental fruit moth penetrates the skin of a young peach to lay her eggs. Oozing of pectin at the spot of entry is characteristic. The internal damage will come later if the fruits continue to develop (they often do not when attacked early) as the eggs hatch into larvae. Larvae then burrow down into the pit area. The peaches are ruined, even if external damage appears not to be severe. Do not allow infested peaches to remain on the tree, or even in the orchard area. Throw them out. Thin your peaches to stand at least 6 and preferably 8 inches apart, and leave only perfect, undamaged peaches on the tree.

If you have only a couple of affected peaches at the bottom you are, so far, getting by pretty easily. OFM can attack in large numbers, and affect nearly every peach on a tree unless controlled by early sprays. This insect can have 3/4 generations per season (probably 4 where you live), and the damage can continue until quite late. I protect my peaches by spraying with Permethrin, especially in the early part of the season when most damage seems to occur, but I can usually stop spraying at 1 week to 10 day intervals about one month before picking, as the skins toughen up and make like more difficult for the OFM.

If you have only minor damage, you may not yet be at a point that requires spraying, but if damage continues I suggest you look into it. Much depends on the levels of OFM present in your area, and you should mention your location in an inquiry of this type.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 3:09PM
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thanks--i'm in central florida. i think your diagnosis is right, though i should add that we recently had hail. maybe it's damage from the hail? i'll check again on my peaches. the damage description/pics from the web support your OFM diagnosis.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 4:11PM
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If you don't mind my asking, how long did it take for you to get fruit on the Flordabelle peach tree? I live in Central Florida as well, and I planted two Flordabelle peach trees two years ago. While I have lush foliage, I have yet to see any blossoms or fruit. I've pruned and fertilized, so I really don't know what else to do but wait. I believe the trees were about two years old when I bought them.

Any suggestions? I'd appreciate hearing from someone local who is growing the same tree.
Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 11:52PM
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austransplant(MD 7)

Looks like oriental fruit moth to me too. For confirmation of this, check out the tips of young growth. If they are wilted, you definitely have oriental fruit moth around and your problem is not hail, as the grubs burrow into the tips of new growth, as well as grow in the fruit.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 12:05AM
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well, i harvested my first peach today, and it's fine. no serious insect damage... a bird took a peck out of it, but little harm's there. having never grown a soft fruit like peach before i didn't realize how prone they are to 'bleeding' sap. while ripening, the tree dropped the majority of fruits, but i still have around 40 left on the tree. i used neem and a little malathion a few times over the last six week.

not bad for a three-year old tree. (melanie--this is the third spring that it's been in the ground. it's about 10 feet tall. i've kept it well pruned.)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 3:12PM
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For a three year old peach, looks like your doing something right.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 2:31AM
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From peaches

i planted a flordaprince peach (from just fruits) on december 10, 2006. so, this is the third spring it's in the ground. it's about ten feet tall, and loaded with forty or fifty peaches. i picked the first one a couple days ago after the birds took a peck of it (i figured they knew when it was ripe!). it smelled terrific, and finished ripening on my counter. it ried it today and it wasn't at all as i had expected--i'd expected a tropical peach, which i like (sweet, low acidity, more peach fragrance than taste). instead, i was surprised to find it was a classic southern peach--lots of peach flavor, nice balance of sweet and acidic, strong fragrance and perfect texture. it wasn't as sweet as it should have been, but that's because i picked it a little early and ate it too soon, i think.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 12:30PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Take end fingers and put all around peach gently press in to peach if all finger tips feel softness it be sweet peach. They softon on sunny side first wait till all around.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 8:55AM
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