[NAFEX] peach thinning

dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com
Fri Jun 8 12:44:19 EDT 2007

When and how to thin peaches depends upon variety and time of maturity. Thin 
the early-ripening varieties earlier and more heavily than the late-maturing 
varieties. For early varieties, peaches grow rapidly at first, then seem to 
cease growing for about two weeks. For late-maturing varieties, they seem to 
cease growing for about four weeks. This is called "pit hardening" and 
occurs while the seeds are maturing. Thin early-maturing varieties at any 
time from full bloom to three weeks later. Hand thinning should be done in 
mid-June to a spacing of one peach to every six to eight inches of twig. 
Make sure the peaches you leave are getting plenty of sunlight.  We usually 
use 1 x 6 boards with a v cut in the top of the board to prop our heavily 
laden branches up.  Peach wood is pretty soft and the branches will bend 
quite a bit without hurting the tree.  What you have to look for is the 
stress being put on the crotch of the branch where it meets the trunk. 
Stress cracks can develop in this location and cause the branch to split off 
or will allow disease to enter the trunk area.  Always support a branch with 
a weak crotch so the weight of the peaches will not cause it to open up. 
Hope this helps!

mid-June to a spacing of one peach to every 6 to 8 inches of twigmid-June to 
a spacing of one peach to every 6 to 8 inches of twigDennis Norton
Royal Oak Farm Orchard

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jenny Ruth Yasi" <voices at maine.rr.com>
To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:27 AM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] peach thinning

> Once again my Reliant peach, growing just up over a compost pile and just 
> downhill from an outdoor spigot, is absolutely covered in peaches, and I'm 
> thinning a little bit every day, and I was doing it by looking for the 
> weaker ones, and also the ones further out along the branch, but would 
> love to hear any thoughts on hand thinning peaches.
> Is it okay to keep them in groups of two, opposite each other along a 
> branch? If I have a whip type branch, thumb up to pinky finger thin, and 
> it's about three feet long, are 10 peaches too many? These peaches get to 
> be regular big supermarket peach size peaches, and I've been growing them 
> too thickly (broke off the whole top of the tree two years ago from the 
> weight) but now the tree is recovered and all the main branches are 
> trellised to the deck railing, but obviously the thinner branches are 
> going to hang when they are loaded. Is that bending under the weight of 
> the peaches not too hard on the tree, or is it really something people 
> prevent?
> Thanks! Going to plant a Korean Pine today!!
> Yasi
> Maine
> Also, I have quite a few double peaches. I'm thinking of letting them keep 
> keeping on.

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