Peach tree trouble
I have been doing my research and found this forum. I am hoping to get some advice from this knowledgeable community.
We bought a house in May 2009. And the house came with a healthy at the time peach tree that was full of peaches ready to be picked. Later that year (August-September) the tree leaves turned yellow, orange, red, got some spots on it and started to fall off. I first assumed it was getting ready for the winter (which seemed too soon, but I knew nothings about growing peached in SoCal at the time).
Last year, 2010, we had our gardener prune the tree (pic 1)
in January and soon after that the tree bloomed and we again enjoyed peaches in May (pic2).
However, some of the leaves have already started turning red and getting those spots earlier than in 2009. I circled on the pic 2 where you can barely see those yellow-red leaves.
This year it all got much worse. We did not prune the tree. We did not fertilize it. The tree had a lot of flowers and leaves, with a lot of fruit babies. But those orange-red-yellow spotty leaves came very early (see current pictures 3-5).
The fruit basically stopped growing and is dropping. Leaves are also dropping.
I googled the issue, and it does not look like a leaf curl to me. What it might be is nitrogen and phosphorus deficiency. Does it look like that to you?
I bought organic tree food (5-4-5) and followed the instructions to make fertilizer tea. I tried mixing some fertilizer with the soil, but it seems to be rock solid. We relied on close by sprinklers to water the tree (we had that line on longer than others usually). I moderately watered the tree this morning and tried mixing in some fertilizer. I am a very immature gardener and just started a vegetable garden this year and started composting. I might have some compost ready. Should I try adding it?
My questions are, I guess:
1) Is there anything I can do to save this year harvest?
2) What do I need to do to make sure I have a healthy tree next year?
3) How would you recommend pruning the tree? Any good videos from youtube? I have seen tons of videos, but they are all for smaller trees. I have no idea how to make an upside down umbrella from this tree that is currently growing mostly up and onto the other side of our fence (which makes it hard to pick fruit from there anyway).
4) Any professionals or stores/nurseries you can recommend in Orange County, SoCal, where I can get advise form instead of wasting your precious time?
Sorry for such a long post and really appreciate any advice I can get here.