peach conundrum

brookw_gwMay 7, 2012

I have a 15 assorted peach trees, including a 6 year old Elberta that was quite loaded this sping. We did have a damaging freeze that took out around 20% of the fruits, but the rest came out ok. The weather has been such that I've maintained the best spray schedule in years, and I thinned this tree heavily just like the others. Yesterday, when I inspected the trees, I discovered that this tree had dropped all of its fruit. I mean there are 2 peaches left on this tree. The temps here have shot up to the upper 80's and we have begun our annual monsoon season w/5 inches of rain this week. Still, all the other trees look pretty good. This tree looks good too; it just dropped all its fruit. Could it be a delayed reaction to the freeze, the sudden burst of heat, the sprays, insects, the rain??

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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Brook,

I think your Elberta suffered more freeze damage than other peaches. If so, this is not unusual. Odds are very small sprays, heat, insects would affect just one tree. Nor have I seen too much rain cause fruit drop on peach trees. They retain their fruit until they collapse. I've seen pears drop fruit from too much water.

I recall a few years ago, we had a damaging late freeze and some peach trees had very thin crops while others had full crops. I strongly suspect this is what happened to you.

Redskin was one of the cultivars unaffected. It's interesting one of its parents is Elberta, the other Redhaven. Perhaps it got it's hardiness from Redhaven, since your Elberta was so affected.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:57AM
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brookw_gw

Old Pea, thanks. Yeah, I thought as much. We had two hard freezes 4/10 and 4/11. Some fruits were immediately affected, but a week later I began thinning. Many fruits were slightly discolored but didn't have the tell tale wrinkling that indicates ruined fruits. I just find it strange that it took them nearly a month to drop and that it was only on the one tree.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 4:06PM
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