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    1. #1
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      Peach tree question.

      This is our peach tree. Any suggestions? The peaches are really small and there are a billion of them. The branches look like they're about to snap off from the weight. Do I just cull them and if so, which ones? The ones that have color or just any of them?


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    2. #2
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      Would definitely lighten up the load on each branch. You can even do this when the tree blooms, strip off some flowers then later strip off extra fruit as needed.
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    4. #3
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      That tree is in serious need or trimming. A Spring trimming before the leaves get on it. Peach pear and apple trees, even cherry if you plan on using them for fruit trees and you want the best fruit you can they need to be pruned in the spring before the blossoms form and the leaves emerge. There is an actual art to this, I would actually talk to someone at an orchard and they are usually more than willing to show you because basically they get you out there and maybe you prune a few trees for them. Some orchards even have classes for this you pay them to prune their trees. Sounds funny I know but they have hundreds of trees that all need pruned every year and they usually have to hire a crew to come in. I actually did this for extra cash when I was a kid at a local orchard. Anyway, you want the tree to put its energy into producing fruit and strengthening the existing branches not growing the tree. Its too late now your got basically what you got. I wouldn't trim anything you could go out and pick some of the excess fruit and use if for mulch. However in the spring you want to prune everything that is new growth and growing upwards. You want to leave old branches and those that are spread out. by pruning this way you let in more light to the tree and the core of it will bulk up and support the weight in the long term. You will also get much much larger juicier and tastier fruit as the tree will get an abundance of light and also focus on growing fruit rather than wood.

      A good paper here
      http://cesonoma.ucanr.edu/files/27164.pdf

      Another good web page with examples
      How To Prune Your Fruit Trees - Modern Farmer

      However I still highly recommend talking to a local orchard and see if they offer a class. A lot do, some are more than willing to show you. They have to do this to every single tree in the orchard every single year. That's a lot of experience.

      My sister is currently going through this as well. She bought a hobby farm to retire on and the first thing they did was plant 50 fruit trees. I told her she was nuts until she got the hang of it. Few years later, yeah she is struggling to get good fruit and last year took a class at a local orchard.

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    6. #4
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      When our pear trees got like that it was usually before any were ripe enough to eat. We just took off any old fruit and kept going till the branch moved up. The wasps had a great time in the compost with all those rotting pears.

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    8. #5
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      Jeff took my thoughts right out of my head.

      Your tree needs to be pruned, (not now) but leave some old wood, like you do to rose bushes with lots of air and sunlight to the middle of the tree. Also make sure you thin fruit out, when it buds, so the branches don't stress like this, this will increase your yield of larger fruit too. Don't forget to spray for Peach Leaf Curl before budding too, for next year.

      Oh Jeff, 50 trees??? O M G

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    10. #6
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      Thanks Jeff. We will probably have to take this particular tree down next year since it is too close to the house. It didn't produce last year at all so I really didn't think about it. I thought it was done. But I have another peach tree in the backyard that is just starting to produce so I'll check out pruning.

      I agree with you, Shelley. Fifty is a lot of trees. My husband met a woman recently who bought a property with her husband with 800 mulberry bushes on it. They have no idea of what to do with everything so they're inviting friends to come pick. I said to him that she would have to put in ad in the local paper and get the whole town to come pick them. That's a crazy amount of fruit.

    11. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
      Oh Jeff, 50 trees??? O M G
      Yeah LOL she retired, her husband is close to retiring they wanted to retire to a nice farm where they could be out in the open do what they wanted grow their own food. They kind of jumped in feet first. They have fruit trees of every kind that grow in Michigan. They did loose a few the first year but they replanted them. They learned a lot about keeping the deer away. They have bee hives and things already going. They have kids and grand kids though that go there every weekend and help out. But I think they bit off more than they can chew. But, hey it is their retirement dream.

    12. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by janedoe View Post
      Thanks Jeff. We will probably have to take this particular tree down next year since it is too close to the house. It didn't produce last year at all so I really didn't think about it. I thought it was done. But I have another peach tree in the backyard that is just starting to produce so I'll check out pruning.
      Yeah some fruit trees are like this, it is usually every other year. My Grandmothers farm they planted me a pear tree when I was little. I had to maintain it when I was growing up. It was an every other year fruit producer too. One year, next to nothing, the year after it was so full of fruit you couldn't give it all away. Still is like that. The farm is still in the family and every other year I go down there and pick a bushel or two.

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    14. #9
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      I think 5 or 6 fruit trees are plenty! LOL

      I do know fruit grows on old wood, so maybe the every other year thing on your trees has to do with that?

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    16. #10
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      My tree is culling itself. I took off a bunch but it's shedding fruit on its own and the other fruit is getting bigger. Very interesting.

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