Compost heap peach tree

sunnibel7 Md 7(7)September 17, 2012

Last summer I sort of noticed a little tree popping up out the back of one of my compost heaps and thought I would get around to dealing with it this year. This year while I wasn't paying attention, it grew to be 5 ft tall with many branches. It is actually a handsome little tree in shape and texture and seems quite happy. I'm pretty sure it is a peach, it has leaves that are longer and more narrow than cherry, which smell strongly of almonds if crushed, and paler bark. My question is, is it likely to flower at all? It put on a fair bit of growth, might this growth be weak because it is growing in relatively rich soil? It seems healthy, with no disease or insect troubles. Cheers!

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glib(5.5)

Put it in a sunny spot, Sunni. Peach trees almost always give you fair or good peaches (as opposed to, say, apples). Dig it carefully and transplant it in February. Water the first year. It is self-pollinating.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:15PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

I have had two compost peach trees. We just ate peaches from ours this year. They tasted good, and the price of the tree was good:) The texture wasn't quite as good as a selected variety, but I have heard that the non-grafted ones get less disease. WE have wet springs that peach trees HATE! so most peach trees will die here. I am glad we have our peach tree.
John S
PDX OR

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:03AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Cool, that's good to know! It is fine where it is, we'll move the heap. It is actually where the heap was two years ago, right next to where the current heap is. How old does it have to be before starting to fruit?

It may be a while before I get to check this thread, we're vacationing in an area of no cell or wifi. Cheers!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 6:44PM
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glenn_10 zone 4b/5a NewBrunswick,Can.

sunnibel,the only tree ripened peaches I have eaten were our own grown from seed.check the link.We currently have 9 bearing trees 2 of which were spectacular(in my opinion...and everyone else who ate one).The other trees were really good too, still better than anything bought at the grocery store.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/fruit/msg0820041119336.html

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 6:58AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Whoops, more than week later... Thanks for the link, that was interesting reading! Now, if I can figure out how to upload a picture, I want to ask if I should prune this tree this winter, and how, since I've never really pruned a fruit tree before. Actually, I think I have only pruned my Dogwoods, and once at that. Read up on pruning my apple trees in the spring, but have forgotten that since I haven't done any yet...

Crud, can't use my iPad to upload a photo... Should be about another 8 years or so until GW gets that capability ;) anyway, I underestimated the size of the tree, it is 6 ft tall and just finally stopped looking like it had actively growing branch tips. Vigorous little thing. It has two problem looking spots to me, a large almost vertical branch coming from near the base, and a good sized J shaped branch about 2 ft up. So how do you angle the cut that large vertical branch? Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:53PM
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canadianplant

Never prune trees in the winter, unless you live in a dryer, mild climate. Fruit trees should be pruned in the late winter/early spring, and early summer. The spring pruning is for shape (mostly when young), and summer pruning prduces a dwarfing affect (done more as the tree matures).

Peaches do need severe pruning to produce, and spur on second year growth. It takes about 3 - 5 years (maybe longer) for a peach to flower from seed.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 8:45AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Ok, I was reading some info from Virginia Cooperative Extension, which said late February at the earliest. Where I grew up, that is deep winter, though down here it is early spring, especially if it is like last year (I hope not, that was just too rough on everything).

I don't know why, but reading about pruning always gives me a headache and I never feel sure I understand it. Perhaps it is just trying to picture something I haven't really seen, or plain old unfamiliarity with the terms. Anyhow, if I understand it, I have now a basic "tree" shaped tree with a central leader and a problematic low branch that is competing for that position. I need to not only remove that branch to avoid a weak crotch (I can just see trying to have that conversation with my husband with a straight face) but also head back the central leader to a fairly short height. But then there is the thing about scaffolds... What's a fairly wide angle? Why is it ok for those branches to be fairly wide when all others need to have a 40-50� angle? What if it already has some suitable branches?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 11:10AM
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canadianplant

IT takes a bit of reading to get the concepts, but it takes practice to really get it. Most of your time pruning should be standing there, visualising cuts and future growth.

Due to peaches growth habits, they are best pruned as a vase shape, or open center. This maximizes sun in the interior of the tree, while making pruning much, much easier (since you need to do some decent amount of pruning. IT also makes the tree more wide then tall as well, making fruit picking easier.

Check these links out

http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/422/422-020/422-020.html
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-005.htm

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 8:41AM
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