Peach Trees.

Nancy Rhodes C
by Nancy Rhodes C
One of my two peach trees is so heavily laden with peaches that I fear the limbs will break. They are hanging almost to the ground. My Master Gardner cousin told me to pick some of the peaches off and throw them away. I hate to do that. I wonder, if it survives the crop, if I need to prune it in a different way for next year. I had to get far back to photograph as the tree has blocked the back yard. I will post a close up of how the limbs are in such trouble. Tell me what you would do.
peach trees, gardening, The structure of the heavily laden peach tree The left limb is the one that is dragging
The structure of the heavily laden peach tree. The left limb is the one that is dragging.
  15 answers
  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Jun 24, 2012
    Thinning peaches is heart-breaking....but you have to do it to get the right ratio of leaves to fruit. If you don't thin, you'll get lots of hard peaches...because the leaves couldn't supply them all with sugar. Aim for one fruit every 5" along the limb. Don't drop pulled fruit to the ground; collect and discard.

  • Nancy Rhodes C Nancy Rhodes C on Jun 24, 2012
    OH BOO HOO!!! Walter Reeves! I guess I will do it. Yes it will be heart breaking but I KNEW she was right and you have verified it. Thanks.

  • Nancy Rhodes C Nancy Rhodes C on Jun 24, 2012
    Wonder what happened to my photographs to show the shape of that one tree????

  • Nancy Rhodes C Nancy Rhodes C on Jun 24, 2012
    Now for the left limb itself, the one I have to pick peaches off of.

  • Donna J Donna J on Jun 24, 2012
    I did that to my peach trees. Last year I didn't thin them out and paid a price. The peaches all had worms and a brownish fungus just where they touched. The one thing I did not do was to collect the fruit and discard them. I thought they would make good compost for the soil. Oh well! Guess I'll have to get out there tomorrow and collect them all. Thanks Walter! Good luck with your peaches Nancy!

  • Nancy Rhodes C Nancy Rhodes C on Jun 24, 2012
    I need to know something about pruning my trees. This was part of my question. Donna J, my peaches were wormy until the local feed store told me what to do. I now spray 3 times. Too late for you this year unless your hurry. Shouldn't spray up to two weeks prior to harvesting. It was too late for me last year when I learned but I tried it anyway. I had good results. This year they are perfect. The name of the spay is RESCUE. I just went out and noticed the low limbs are now dragging the ground and there is sap. Is there supposed to be sap?

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 25, 2012
    You have to do the same thing with citrus. It's difficult to pull the fruit off, but necessary.

  • Kimberly J Kimberly J on Jun 25, 2012
    We have a peach tree we inherited when we moved on to the property and that was something I was wondering because the peaches have brown spots all over them. It sounds like I am about to break my own heart by picking early I guess :(

  • Nancy Rhodes C Nancy Rhodes C on Jun 25, 2012
    I am beginning to feel that if I pick off those peaches very early, when they first appear, then the overloading to this one particular limb (or others) will not be a problem. Seems I read that years ago when I planted the trees. So thinning very early will not break the heart and will enable the tree with all its leaves to give off more energy toward the peaches that at left. This way I can forget about any more pruning than I did in the beginning. Was the RESCUE acceptable for 3 sprays in keeping the worms away??? Is there no way to eliminate the sap???? Let's be experts about the entire art of peach trees.

  • Nancy Rhodes C Nancy Rhodes C on Jun 26, 2012
    By thinning the peaches very early, I mean to do it when danger of frost has passed in May. Failure to thin will result in smaller peaches AND BROKEN LIMBS. Remove all deformed or diseased fruit. Thin remaining fruit to about 8 inches apart. This will prevent the overload that I am now experiencing. Water before harvest and when weather is dry. No need to water after October. Fertilize in the spring before the trees begin their production. The RESCUE spray I mentioned earlier is good so make sure you spray all leave on top and underneath. When pruning keep in mind the leader should not be allowed to grow tall. The tree needs good circulation with leaders cut off. Keep alcohol in garage or shed to clean tools. These are some high points I recently re-read from my encyclopedia.

  • Leslie D Leslie D on Jun 26, 2012
    We had a peach tree in our yard when we first moved to Vegas. The peaches formed in clumps, almost like grape clusters and we learned to thin them early after our first year of limbs hanging to the ground and rotting spots where they touched each other. We also learned that when you thin them, you get much bigger peaches from the ones that remain. Once thinned, the only thing we had to worry about were the birds enjoying them before we could!

  • Terry S Terry S on Jun 26, 2012
    the best way to keep the limbs from breaking is to thin the fruit when it is pea size, one peach to every 5 inches and it helps to put 2x4's under the heavy limbs for support. hope this helps, peach trees are very easy to break from the weight.

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Jun 28, 2012
    wow! I never knew this ...and we live in the fruit area of Washington. Pass by peach orchards every day..never knew what went on .

  • Nancy Rhodes C Nancy Rhodes C on Jun 29, 2012
    Thanks friends. I have about 200 peaches on the ground. I have learned so much. Raking to the compost area will not be too hard after the heat wave is over.

  • Dave Free Dave Free on Aug 13, 2016
    I live in northwestern Washington state .Peaches are hard to grow here because of cold late winter rains caused peach-leaf curl. I grow the "Frost" variety which is leaf curl resistant, This year we had a early warm spring and my tree set fruit very heavily. I thinned dozens of the fruit early but it still was not enough. I propped up the branches, but 2 still cracked right where they were supported and the fruit were was a bit smaller than usual. Lesson learned. Next year I will thin the fruit even more heavily and prune the branches back to shorter lengths.