peach buds

hannah9880(5b)May 20, 2013

My peach and nectarine trees were loaded with buds this spring but they seemed to be dried out and could be flicked off with the fingernail. This was before the frost that hit the Grand Rapids area on May 13. Our indoor-outdoor minimum indicated a low of 28 degrees. The MSU extension report has said nothing about peaches in this area having no blossoms: so is the problem the drought of last July? Wouldn't the trees have failed to produce buds if the July drought was at fault?
Even the trusty Hale Haven had buds but no blossoms.

One report for Southeast Michigan mentioned a low on April 21 as possibly injuring blossoms.

Do any of you have experience with no peaches this year? We had a mild winter here in Michigan with no zero or below zero that I recall.

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Exact situation with my peaches in RI.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 2:58PM
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I know that is doesn't really help, but we had the same drought last year and one 28 degree day in April, However my peaches are loaded again this year. I am just south of you in Northeast Indiana.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 3:29PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Winter cold? Not sure...i've seen this happen and i assumed it was winter cold that did it (considering it gets very cold here...-20F sometimes)... I know the trees i have in containers/garage in winter, never have had this issue.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Thanx for your responses. Wish I had ordered a Paul Friday peach PF24C last season when I first heard of it. Now it is too late.

I usually have my antennae ready all winter to note below zero temps. I don't remember any such low temps. We often have -10 in this area, and we are in a cold spot. Perhaps a great swing in temps can cause desiccated flower buds: still wanting to watch and learn.

There are many peach growers here in western Michigan, but they are in higher locations.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

It sounds like the April cold did them in. They may have been pre-flowering but at a more advanced stage such as pink (swelled buds and a little pink showing), when they cannot take temps below 15F or so. Pull up one of those blossom hardiness charts and you may be able to figure out what stage your peaches were and how cold it was. I doubt it was the winter low, -10F should not be a problem for peaches.


Here is a link that might be useful: frost damage chart

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Are you in MI? You should list your USDA plant hardiness zone instead of a zip code.

I have PF 24 C planted since 2010. It fruted in the 2nd year. I like the taste of this peach and the fruit size is big. It's quite winter hardy. We had a lot of snow 2 out of 3 winters since it's in the ground. I think the critical part is what Scott said, the damage depends on what stage of flower/fruit buds development when freezing cold hits.

This year, March was colder than usual (20-30 F). April is colder, too (30's). The temp did not fluctuate much which was helpful.

We had 2 cvery old nights, May 13 and 14 (hard frost on the 14). My peaches were at petal fall at the time. No damage.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 9:14PM
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