If this were your tree, what would you do?

peachymomo(Ca 8)April 23, 2014

I know I said that I would wait for all signs of life to disappear before I pulled it out, but there's been no visual change since last month other than a single sucker coming up from the rootstock which I broke off. I'm worried that if I wait too long I won't be able to find a replacement Indian Free peach.

Here are some pictures:


This is the other peach tree I planted, Muir:

And here is a photo of the entire line of trees:

What do you think?

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

It looks very much alive to me.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CA

I agree with Floral. Just give it more time. When did you plant it?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 5:39PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Its alive, but i wonder if its having a hard time finding some buds to sprout???? I think this was discussed in the past (when talking about cutting peaches back hard to induce lower branching)... i'd give it more time...see what happens... no promises.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 5:52PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I planted it in the second week of January, so it's been in the ground for more than 4 months.

"i wonder if its having a hard time finding some buds to sprout" - This is my exact worry, if there is no viable bud wood will the tree push any growth? And if so, wouldn't it be better to cut my losses now?

I know it probably doesn't seem very late to be breaking bud for many, but around here most of the peaches finished blooming a while ago and the little fruits are dime to nickle sized already.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 6:10PM
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roflwtime(7a)

Give the poor guy a chance. I have a peach tree that I planted in February and he is just now finally producing some leaves.

You may consider giving him a tablespoon of ammonium sulfate diluted in 3-5 gallons of water to encourage some leafing. My peaches seem to like that stuff.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:08PM
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eibren(z6PA)

If another sucker arises you might consider letting it live this season to feed the rest of the stem--nonstandard procedure, I guess, but that's what I'd do.

Or, you could just bit the bullet, decide this would probably always be a runt, pot it up to give away if it recovers, and plant another.

There is always the possibility of some sort of viral disease that could be transmitted to the others, as well, such as the plum pox virus.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:17PM
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jjstatz

Give it a year... It's a whip, it's going to take a bit to get established, the roots are busy working wonders while the top is catching up.

I wouldn't dismiss it just because it might be a runt - it's been my experience that runts establish a better root system growing slow and steady.

Be patient. It'll get there. Besides, isn't indian free a very late season variety anyways? ;p

It's possible that it didn't get enough chilling hours either and is just going to be slow this year breaking dormancy. I'll give mine a jolt of fish emulsion (sprayed all over and soil drench) if a new fruit tree is being stubborn.

I wouldn't shovel prune it just yet. Give it a chance!

Jordan - Organic/Holistic Orchardist

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:33PM
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jjstatz

Also - if later in the season you're still not seeing much for growth, it may be worthwhile to score the bark.

Basically you'll be taking a sharp knife and making a score to the cambium layer under the bark in a spiral fashion around the trunk. This can help stimulate budding on the trunk. I had to do this last year on a few trees that unfortunately the rabbits/deer decided shouldn't have buds.

It works quite well and is very simple to do. Attached is an article on how.

Here is a link that might be useful: scoring fruit trees

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 7:40PM
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charina(6b)

If it were my tree I would not have pruned it so hard. I definitely would have left some of the upper branches as scaffolds to start with.

But, since time can't be turned back, what I would do now is to remove a small piece of bark above spots where there are living buds. In your third photo just below the lower branch it looks like there is a small bud forming right there. About a quarter of an inch above that stubbed off branch, remove a sliver of just wider than the branch socket and deep enough to remove the cambium layer. The sliver of bark doesn't need to be very wide, just enough interrupt the flow of sap up from the bud area. That will stimulate the bud to act more like an apex bud and to grow. It worked really well with a couple buds on young trees this year for me that didn't seem like they were going to push growth out of areas I wanted growth to start scaffolds from.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 9:38PM
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surya55_gw

It looks alive to me; just late in establishing itself. I would suggested methods here first before discarding it.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 9:44PM
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charina(6b)

Example

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 7:15AM
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MrClint

Looks like you're off to a great start and have a late bloomer. My late bloomer is 'Goldmine' nectarine, which is just now leafing out and blooming. I cut all my trees to knee height at planting time to force lower branching. It has worked really well for me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Backyard Orchard Culture

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:37AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

No expert on scoring but can't see it helping on a bare stick like that. Scoring is designed to cut off hormones from an apically dominant shoot higher on the tree. With no shoots there are no hormones to be cut off. The question is are there buds and are the roots growing to push those buds. If the roots are growing and taking up water then the buds will push if there are any. No actively growing roots and the buds won't push the tree will just dry out.

I'd keep the tree a little longer it looks alive.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 12:13

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 12:10PM
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