Peach tree notes
Wednesday January 18th 2017, 12:02 am
Filed under: Garden

(Photo added in the morning: first round of pruning done, probably need to do more.)

Something this newbie learned this past year (I should have asked Al first): don’t put birdnetting over a standard-rootstock fruit tree. That’s what my Indian Free peach is because that’s all that variety came in from the grower, which means it gets very tall very fast.

Which also means it quickly got caught up in and strangled and twisted by that birdnetting, and getting to the branches without destroying the netting before harvest thus defeating its purpose proved impossible. And then the tree kept growing like crazy, lifting the black mesh well out of reach.

So the tree didn’t get its summer pruning but it needed it more.

The larger critters tore the netting open in the night and got my peaches anyway. So much for that. The plastic produce clamshells worked much better so I am definitely going back to them. This year I will staple paper bags over them to hide sight and smell of ripening fruit with a little hot pepper at the bottom in case they try anyway. Thwart one, thwart two, thwart three.

My pruning shears were not enough for this one–I had to get out the pole pruner. I didn’t think to take pictures before, and after over an hour at it the sun was too far gone. But I do have that tree Ground Hog Day’d to a year ago. More or less. It looks much more robust than then.

To prune, you have to look at each branch: there are tiny buds, and where they are on the limb shows you which direction the tree will take it after you cut right above one. You want it to go left? That one pointing left. Right? The one down here. None facing exactly the right way? Probably not quite as much sun that side.

What I wanted most for it to do was to grow over the fence towards Adele, even though I cut off half of several branches that were already close to doing just that. But they were too young and too flimsy; they needed to thicken before getting too long, otherwise, they could break from the weight of a single fruit. I voted for Most Likely To Succeed and trimmed them back by half. I also wanted there to be ones far enough down, height-wise, for her to be able to get to when they’re laden with ripe peaches dripping with juice. Off with its heads. Out not up.

Two trimmings in particular, I was curious and stood them upright on the ground. They came up to my nose.

Here’s the story of my planting that peach for Adele. And wow, that picture, it was so little two years ago.

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I recently heard a BBCRadio comedy program where a dispute between neighbors got really heated after they both entered apples in a garden show — one neighbor took second and the other, you guessed it, took first with the overhanging fruit from the tree in their neighbor’s yard! (Better sunlight apparently, the joke continued.)

Comment by LynnM 01.18.17 @ 8:02 am

and netting that keeps out birds does nothing to thwart deer. And vice versa.
Meanwhile, I have twisted up, bare branches….

Comment by Holly 01.18.17 @ 8:09 am

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