My peach tree looks overloaded with fruit, what should I do?

Q.

Hi, my peach tree has hundreds of tiny fruit growing on each branch. A neighbour said to strip them off as there taking all the fertiliser needed to feed them. My question is,  how many to remove and when. Also, what is a good food for the Golden Queen peaches? Thanks Ron, in Auckland.

Ron Blair

A.

Hi Ron, the purpose of thinning fruit trees is so that you don't end up with overloaded branches too heavy to sustain fruit which can break under the weight, as well as to  ensure fruit is plump, juicy and sweet rather than small, dry and flavour-less. Too many fruit will weaken the tree, making it more susceptible to pest and disease. The best time to thin your peach tree is after the unpollinated flowers and fruit-lets have dropped, which is about 6-8 weeks after full flowering of the tree (probably around December). Thin fruit to a spacing of 10-15cm, or, approximately 15 peaches per metre of limb. Any fruit tree fertiliser is suitable for stone fruit, or use an all purpose fertiliser such as Tui General Garden fertiliser or Tui Novatec slow release fertiliser. Feed in spring at bud burst and reapply once fruiting has finished. Lianne.

 




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