[NAFEX] Peach flowering & hand pollenating

Mark & Helen Angermayer hangermayer at isp.com
Sun Apr 20 14:55:19 EDT 2008


 Diane wrote:


>" I have some named peaches, and also some seedlings.  The seedlings
> have bloomed for several years but haven't produced any peaches yet.
> They have small flowers, while the named ones have much larger
> flowers.  Perhaps the small ones are not complete, or just not very
> noticeable to the bees."

Hi Diane,

What you're describing is "showy" vs. non-showy flowers.  Peaches can have
either one.  As far as I know, there is no correlation between the type of
flower and any characteristic of the fruit.  My non-showy peach varieties
pollinate just as well as the showy type.  Some examples of non showy peach
flowers are: Reliance, Harken, Belle of Georgia, Redhaven, PF1.  Examples of
showy flowers: Redskin, White County, White River, PF7a.  Are your peaches
blooming in really wet weather?  Peaches are self-pollinating, but according
to this study http://www.actahort.org/books/374/374_23.htm.  There was only
15 to 20% fruit set in enclosed, or caged flowers.  Perhaps with rainy
weather the pollination could be worse.  However my best guess (assuming no
frost) is you have something nutritional going on that is causing the peach
flowers to abort.

Jim wrote:

 "I hand pollinate my peach trees in years when there are few flowers.
Peach flowers respond similar to Pawpaw flowers.  The Stigmas ripen before
the Anthers.  The first flowers to open do not bear fruit because by the
time the anthers mature, the stigma is no longer receptive.  I have to mark
those first flowers so I know which they are by the time more flowers open.
Then I use the pollen from the first flowers to pollinate the next to
bloom."

Hi Jim,

I not sure this is quite right.   I believe peach flowers are receptive at
the same time the anthers are shedding pollen.
http://beeculturemagazine.com/content/pollination_handbook/peach.html

Since flowers can pollinate themselves, you wouldn't have to use different
flowers to pollinate others.  I would think a very gentle brushing from the
anthers to the stigma will pollinate the flower.

You know you have a pollinated peach flower when the pistil (the little
"stalk" in the middle of the flower) out grows the anthers (the little
stubby things surrounding the pistil) which happens very rapidly after
pollination (You probably know this Jim, but I mention it for others who may
not.)  It is more pronounced on some varieties than others, but many times
the pistil will stick out an 1/8th to 1/4 inch past the anthers.

Well I better stop here.  This is more sex than I have talked about in a
long time.

Mark
KS




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