Peaches and nectarines: interesting note

homey_birdApril 24, 2012

Hi,

I have been noticing an interesting phenomenon, mainly with my peach and nectarine trees (by the way, I've also experienced this with my Pomegranate tree but I would only discuss peach and nectarine here).

When fruit is set, I see that some branches bear decidedly smaller fruit whereas some bear decidedly larger fruit. And no, my trees are not multi-grafted. They are all one same variety on each tree, therefore size difference is not due to the variety.

I am curious if this happens because the tree has some naturally strong arms (ie branches) and some naturally weak. I would like to know because I am wondering if I should actually focus on thinning the smaller fruit (versus thinning uniformly over the tree), and whether I should focus on weaker branches during pruning.

Does this make sense or is there a counter intuitive approach that works better?

Thanks in advance!

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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I've never observed this at thinning time. I have noticed there are small fruit and larger fruit on the same shoots. Many times, smaller fruit drop off (abort) which is why I generally remove them at thinning.

As the fruit develops, shoots more exposed to the sun develop larger fruits.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have noticed this on some peach trees, in particular on ones lacking in overall vigor. You can pretty much predict it by looking at the end of the shoot and seeing how much new growth is coming out -- the shoots with little new growth are more likely to be the ones with the small fruits on them. I thin out nearly all of these little guys, they don't produce good fruit.

In general trees with too much of this kind of fruit will need more renewal pruning, take out a whole lot of wood next winter.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 7:49PM
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homey_bird

Thanks, the mention of pruning brings me to this question: I have a genetic dwarf peach + nectarine tree in the ground. It's suffered some damage over the years due to leaf curl fungus, and some parts of the wood have stopped growing leaves. Overall, the wood on this tree looks very very mature. What are the chances that new growth will happen after pruning it? Any good sites to refer to, for pruning tips for mature wood trees?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 1:12PM
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