Peach pits are all cracked open? (Picture)

bo_berrinMay 18, 2007

Does anybody know why all the peaches I've just picked ALL have (pits? stones? seeds?) which are cracked open? Every single peach we've eaten has had a split pit. They're extremely delicious and juicy, almost every peach on the tree was perfect and huge (about 4" across!), and we didn't spray or treat them with anything at all. They also ripened very early. This is my first year in my new home, so I'm just learning about these trees. TIA for any info you might be able to offer.

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readinglady(z8 OR)

What a beautiful picture. We're a long ways from fresh peaches here.

I've provided a link to a helpful article about reasons for a high % of split pits.


Here is a link that might be useful: Dealing with Bitter and Split Pit

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 12:41PM
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Thanks for the compliment of the photo. I thought it was so beautiful, I took dozens of pictures before and during the picking. I couldn't believe how perfect they were! I think it's because they're early--the bugs and birds didn't have time to work them over. And being an early variety adds to the "split pit" problem, since earlies are usually cling peaches, which are more likely to split.

I clicked the link but the Free Press was apparently down at the time I tried to access it; the headline came up, but the page wouldn't fully load. But if there was one article written about it, I thought, maybe there were more, so I went looking. Thanks for starting the process for me!

I found out that my probable cause of split pits was either our late freeze at Easter, or when I turned on the soaker hose and left it for hours while it sprung a BIG leak and hosed the complete area until there was a little lake around the fruit trees. The next week, my DH mowed over the hose anyway, so that was the first and last watering they got besides rain. That possibly gave the peaches an uneven growth spurt during the peach pit hardening stage.

I have so much to learn! Thanks for the help!

Here is a link that might be useful: OSU Article on Split Peach Pits

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 1:22PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I went back and the article did load up. Maybe it was a temporary glitch.

Anyway, here's the article from the Grand Junction Free Press (Colorado) pasted in for the benefit of anyone else who may be having trouble accessing the page.

Dealing with bitter and split pit

By Curtis Swift
September 13, 2006

Split pit and bitter pit are two problems fruit growers experience at this time each year. Backyard gardeners typically have more problems than commercial fruit growers, but they also lose a portion of their crop to these conditions.

Split pit is a condition where the two halves of the peach pit split during the development of the fruit. In some cases, the pit splits into even more pieces resulting in what is known as shattered pit. Broken pieces of pit sometimes get stuck between your teeth if they are small enough. In most cases, however, they simply make eating a peach more difficult.

If you are canning peaches, or making peach salsa or another gourmet dish, fruit with split or shattered pits make preparation more difficult.
Split pit peaches have a shorter shelf life. The peach may split along the suture, opening the skin up to earwigs and other critters. Fruit rot diseases are also more common on these fruit. Sometimes you will find a seed that has germinated within the split pit peach.

Split pit is a disorder that can affect up to 50 percent of the peaches harvested each year. High nitrogen fertilization, improper irrigation scheduling, and the number of fruit on the tree all influence the amount of split pit that occurs. Peach trees planted in the lawn where they receive more fertilizer and water have more fruit with split pit. Peach trees not pruned properly also experience this problem more frequently.

Bitter pit is a problem with apples that appear after harvest. Sunken discolored pits appear on the surface of the fruit. Under each pit is a rubbery brown spot. These spots can be cut out of the fruit but as with split pit peaches, preparing these fruit for a pie or other uses takes longer. Most people cut these spots out of an apple before they take a bite. Other people feel these fruits are diseased and won't eat them. They are sometimes quite ugly. Like split pit, this malady is not caused by a disease or insect, but environmental and cultural practices.

Young trees just coming into bearing are the most susceptible as is fruit harvested at an immature stage. Bitter pit also is more of a problem with more vigorous trees like those in a lawn where they receive too much water and fertilizer. Fruit on upright vigorous growing branches have a greater potential to develop bitter pit than fruit that develops on horizontal branches near the tree's main trunk.

In the spring, plan on attending the pruning workshop conducted by the staff of the CSU Orchard Mesa Research Center to learn how to properly prune your fruit trees. Proper pruning will not only reduce problems with bitter pit and split pit, but help reduce insect and disease problems as well.

If you plan on purchasing and planting fruit trees this fall or some time in the future, plan on an area not influenced by the lawn or garden. Fruit trees need to be planted where they can be watered and fertilized separately from other plants. For more information on the care of fruit trees, check out the web site at or contact the Master Gardener desk at 244-1836. The weekly gardening message available by dialing 244-1706 will inform you of the spring pruning workshop as we get closer to the OMRC workshop.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 1:57PM
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Carol, I left the page open and went to fix lunch. When I came back, it was all there. Great article--thanks for posting it. I'm certain now that my split pits were due to my watering snafu. I'll be more careful next year! :-)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 1:57PM
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Carol, we must've posted at about the same time. :-)

You've been extremely helpful to me. Thanks! (You wouldn't happen to be a librarian?)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 2:16PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Almost. English teacher and research nut.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 3:12PM
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Ha! I knew it! The reason I asked was because you show some of the same characteristics as my sister, who started out as an "English teacher and research nut" and became a librarian. I've never seen anybody happier with their profession than her--she lives to help others which makes her a very pleasant person to have around. Bet you are too! Thanks, again! :-)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 3:28PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Boy, you've got me wanting fresh peaches now!
I'm near Carol so it's gonna be awhile! Months!!!!
Enjoy your harvest and yes, that was a beautiful photo!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 4:54PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Thanks for the kind words. I think you'll find this Forum is loaded with helpful types.

Our Extension agent always recommends the OSU Gardening Encyclopedia. I didn't think to mention it because a lot of it is region-specific, but you reminded me what great information can be found there. I've used it a lot for help with tomato pests, blight, etc. and appropriate treatments.

Here's the Home Page for any interested Forum Members; check out the pest management guide at the bottom:

Here is a link that might be useful: OSU Extension Gardening Encyclopedia

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 5:52PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I have also read that you can reduce bitter seed in apples by adding lime, or a high calcium around the tree out to the drip line. This helps to keep the acidity down in the soil. Boron, which is used in many fruit tree fertilizers also helps to reduce blemishes. Boron is NOT recommended for any gardens however. It does help to give better formed strawberries and helps most fruit trees to give you good shaped fruits. Potassium also helps to raise sweetness and juiciness

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 6:46PM
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