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First Peach Blossom

First Peach Blossom

First Peach Blossom

I was working in the orchard and something caught my eye. In the middle of the orchard, one of the new baby trees had a blossom. Unfortunately the tree is too young and I cant leave it on the tree, but it made me happy to see it.

Wait, Why Cant You Leave It?

Peaches only grow on branches that are 1 year old. In this case in 2016, this tree was trying to make a peach on part of the tree that grew in 2015. I guess what I’m saying is that I shouldn’t be too terribly surprised to see the blossom. Unfortunately at this point in the tree’s life we’re more worried about growing strong, mature trees than we are about growing peaches. If the baby tree were to grow a peach, it would be using the limited resources the small tree has for producing the peach instead of a strong root system and branches. Better to have no peaches now and a strong tree that can start producing peaches in about 2 years.

So Doesn’t That Mean Peaches Next Year?

Unfortunately, no. We will want to remove blossoms next year as well so that the tree can have 2 full years that are focused only on growth, not peaches. We want to focus on shaping the tree as mentioned in a previous post. By the 3rd year, the peach trees will be able to produce about 25% of a full crop of peaches. That means that we will probably let the trees fruit in 2018 if they’re blooming. 4th year usually produces a 50% crop and by the 5th year a peach tree should be fully mature and capable of producing a 100% full size crop.

The Wait Will Be Worth It

At our house we have a peach tree that is this year 5 years old. 2 Years ago when it was 3 years old (should produce a 25% crop) we had a late frost that killed all the blooms (and baby peaches). Last year the tree was 4 years old (50% crop) and it produced an exceptional crop except for the fact that severe weather and hail knocked most of the peaches out of the tree. This year the tree is 5 years old (100% crop). The tree was literally covered in blossoms in the spring. A couple weeks later and all those blossoms turned into baby peaches! It took 5 hard years of fighting severe drought, severe flooding, and severe grasshopper infestations – and we’re hoping to finally reap the benefit of those 5 hard years.

A 5 Year Old Peach Tree in our Front Yard.

Trees are awesome. In a world where everything is dominated by instant gratification, working with a tree that must be nurtured for years forces you to slow down and appreciate the value of hard work.

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