Peaches fall off tree before ripe or go from not ripe to rotting

garedneckAugust 13, 2009

My three year old semi-dwaft Hale Haven Peach tree fruited this year, but they all fell off the tree recently before turning red and ripening. The peaches were still hard, the flesh was a little yellow, but they really didn't ripen anymore after being in a brown paper bad for 5 days. They would start to rot before finishing ripening either in the paper bag or on the tree. The tree looks healthy, is growing, gets 1" water per week, mulched around the drip line, lime/fertilizer, etc. Could it be that some trees are just "bad" and don't produce good fruit? Did i get a "lemon"? All the other varieties of peach trees were cared for the same way and had spectacular peaches. The only thing which may be a factor is that the peaches had a fair amount of Peach Scab (little black spots on the skin) but my Redhaven peach tree had that as well and it's peaches were great???

SHould I just graft a bunch of other peach tree limbs to this tree?

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

One thing that can do that is brown rot of stone fruit. Look for text & images to see if it matches.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 11:41PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

It can be brown rot, but I'm not sure. The way you can be sure you have brown rot is some of the peaches in an advanced stage will have the brown dull powdery stuff on the outside. If that is what you have you need to spray, primarily in the early phases of fruit formation, to prevent the disease, and also perhaps a spray in July just before fruits start ripening. I use Serenade, an organic product, and it seems to work OK. You can also use propiconazole (Monterey Garden Fungi-Fighter). The peaches rotting in the bag are probably rotting due to brown rot, so it does sound like the fungus is present.

The only thing about your description that doesn't quite add up is the way the fruits are falling off before they ripen. When you have brown rot they usually don't drop early, and in fact they can "mummify" on the tree, turning all shriveled and gross. Also it sounds like the fruits falling off look fine, just hard and unripe. It makes me wonder a bit if a storm or hail or something didn't come through and blow them off. One last thing it could be is some varieties of peach can drop fruits when they are young trees. It is common for them to drop in June but is not common to drop so late.

Overall, I would spray for brown rot next year and hope for better luck..


    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 9:30AM
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