My peach trees - what is going on there?

dennis1983June 16, 2012


I have 2 peach trees, but they don't look good. I don't see much signs of life there. My White Lady and Frost peach varieties don't have leaves yet. What is going on there? Our growing season 2012 has already started, mine pear tree flowered already and now have small pears on it. Is my peach trees a live? Did they survive winter? Should they already woke up? What they are waiting for? My white Lady have some black tips on top of it, what they are? They are quite small, what i founded on internet they might be flower buds based on internet picture but in image is hard to say how small flower buds are before they open. My flower buds, if they are that are not open yet. Why it takes so long to open them if they are flower buds? This doesn't look good that they just sit there. Are they waiting for rain? But we got rain. Or did i gave them too much water last autumn? Or did i planted White Lady just too late? I guess few peaches don't mean a lot yet. Any ideas what is going on here?

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They are probably dead. You don't say, but I think they must have been planted last year, and never really got established. Al

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 9:19AM
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john222-gg(Mississippi 8a/8b)

I have 3 diffrent types. My peaches dident do good this year.They blomed late veary few fruit.The fruit were deformedand fell off.I was thinking it was warm winter.NOT SURE. I hope yours arent dead.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:59AM
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Hi Dennis, it doesn't sound very good for your peaches. I know how much you wanted them to grow. Black on the tips of fruit trees is not a good sign. If your pear has bloomed your peach trees should have bloomed before them. Can you take a picture? So sorry. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 11:39AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


Do a scratch test on the bark. Take your thumbnail and scratch some bark away to see if the cambium is green. It does sound like your peach trees are likely dead. Perhaps they were already dead when you planted them.


Those trees do look unhealthy. I've never lived in MS, but used to travel there. In the parts where I traveled the soil was pretty heavy and the water table fairly shallow. As a KS boy, I'd never seen bogs with cypress til I went to MS.

My guess is those peach trees have simply had too much water on their roots.

Below are a couple threads where the issue was discussed in a little more detail:

To amend or not to amend

Several peach problems

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 11:50PM
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john222-gg(Mississippi 8a/8b)

It could be two much water we had a lot of water in first of spring. I never thought of that as a problem.Do you think it will affect them next year? Thanks for the comment.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:45AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


It could be that your trees will pull out of it, but it's been my experience that it's just a matter of time before the trees get too much water on the roots again and weaken or kill them.

I lost a lot of peach trees early on to too much water. It was a constant fight and a constant worry. I finally decided I'd had enough and started putting trees in mounds. I've not had any drowning problems since.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 7:58AM
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Calistoga hi

I planted mine White Lady last year. I think my peach tree might be dead. It didn't have leafes last year.

John222-gg hi

Well better luck next time for your peach tree, so you can get peaches. At least your peach tree is a live. You said your peach tree got few fruits, how old your peach tree is?

Mrsg47 hi

I think you are right í´ don't sound good. I would like to grow peaches, you are right. I think black tips are not good sign, as you said. I have thought peaches flower week before pears, so yes it should have already flowered. It looks to me that my peach tree was already dead when i got it. It looks like same condition as when i got it last autumn. So winter didn't kill it, as it was already dead. Not good thing, waste of money. So i didn't got negative experience about peach surviving winter. I think there is nothing to do, as peach tree is dead. That would explain why i don't see life there. If peach tree is dead already when i got them, no watering would help it.

Olpea hi

What is cambium? But what that test would help if my peach tree is already dead? I think my peach tree is dead, as you said they are likely dead. I think my peach tree was dead already when i got it. It looks same way when i got it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 7:15PM
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I think I have the same problem with young peach trees being too wet...that and borers.... I'm curious about planting on the big are these mounds and what soil do you use?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 8:52PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


I've used all different kinds of mounds. It's really been quite a journey for me. I started out simply planting my backyard peach trees in the dirt w/ no mounds. Whenever we'd get torrential rains during the growing season, I'd loose trees.

My first solution was to install a field tile around the orchard area in my backyard to drain subsurface water away. This helped quite a bit and kept trees from dying, but they still didn't thrive during wet seasons.

After seeing this same problem in some peach orchards I visited, I decided (if at all possible) I wouldn't plant another peach tree unless it was in some kind of raised planting.

At first I used a shovel and wheel barrel to make mounds. It takes a tremendous amount of labor and effort to make a small mound, but it does work if you have a strong back and plenty of time. The first mounds were only a couple feet tall at the middle, tapering down, and about 6' in diameter. In my opinion, that's a big enough mound to get the tree off to a good start.

Since then I've always used machinery to build a raised planting. Most of it has been rented and the rental rates aren't bad at all, if your labor is worth anything. Machinery does so much work in such a short amount of time. Plus my back is no good. Here, you can rent a skid loader for less than $200/day and you can build a lot of mounds for that rent. It does tear up your yard, but saves your back.

I've also rented Dingos (the little portable tracked loaders that you walk behind). They rent for less money and you can still do a lot of work with them. They also don't tear up your yard near as much as a skid steer. You have to have a pickup to pull a trailer to haul the equipment (they rent the trailers too). I build bigger mounds with skid steers and Dingos. Probably about 10' in diameter and 3' high. Keep in mind those are the build dimensions, the mounds will shrink when the ground settles.

For the peach planting on my farm ground I bought a road grader to build berms/terraces as a raised planting. Those terraces are about 4' high and 11' wide.

I've since sold the road grader but decided I wanted some trees in a place that I'd not terraced. So I'm back to building mounds with rented equipment.

I've never used anything but native soil (on site) to build raised plantings. With a loader, I pick a spot and dig soil for mounds out of there. I then have a place to dump brush. With a motor grader, I just pushed up dirt from the aisles (Below is a pic).

In my soil, there is no comparison in the performance/health of peach trees in raised plantings. Not only does it provide necessary drainage, but the loose dirt in the mounds encourages root growth in new trees.

A peach tree in a new mound with loose soil and a mulched weed free area has no competition. As long as it's free of borers, it will grow like a weed. ...

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:57AM
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