Hello, my uncle has a peach tree that is about to fall over because there is so many peaches... he is using a ladder to hold it up now otherwise it might split in half. he has some questions about when can he harvest the peaches and what can he do to save the tree. Can someone help!? Thank you very much in advance for your input.
Without a photo it is hard to say what state the tree is in, but for the moment I would go ahead and pick some peaches since they are causing the tree to fall over. If they are not ripe, just put them in a brown paper bag with a banana and that might do the trick. Schneph Farms Peach festival is on now, so the time is now for peaches here in the Phoenix area.
Post a photo of the tree, this will help people offer advice on how to remedy the situation.
Thank you for the tip, Ericka! Here are some photos...
I would say from the photo that the peaches are ready to pick, and I would pick as many as I could to release the weight, all of them if possible and as soon as you can. Next season you may want to thin out some of the fruit before they mature so it doesn't stress the tree.
Has the trunk split? The photos it is hard to tell, it looks like one side is extremely larger than the other? And, it appears that there are numerous broken limbs too? With all that weight and the wind we have had I am guessing that is what may have caused the damage. If there are broken limbs that would be the place to start to trim. Check out this PDF that shows the proper way to prune using the 3-cut method.
Check out this publication on pruning fruit trees, it has some really good advice specific to the type of fruit tree. Hope this helps.
Thank you, Ericka!!
If you would like to sell the surplus of your harvest, you are invited to bring them to the Community Exchange Table at the Tempe Community Market and / or Phoenix Public Market.
Chip, if you have it, would you post contact information for the markets in case anyone else would like to do this as well?
Contact Information for the Community Exchange Table.
Hey Chip, I need to talk to you Sunday about the Community Table, I will probably have a Sunday (or two) where I won't be able to be at the Market this summer but I will most likely still have some extra produce.
Going to give a little shout out to the Tempe Community Market, every Sunday 8 AM - 12 noon throughout the summer. It is under the 202 overpass off of Mill Ave. in the Marque Theatre parking lot. The light rail stop is near by, bike paths galore, and SHADE all day long. There have been some running events so we had to skip a few Sundays (back on this Sunday May 11, but off the following May 18th, then back on May 25th) but this is a year-round farmer's market.
Hey look a coupon for this Sunday!
Can I get you to post the coupon in the community bazaar section of the forum? Also, you may want to put a year on that coupon. This thread is going to be up for a long, long time.
My Eva's Pride peach tree is doing the same thing. I guess too much fruit is a better problem than too little. I like your uncle's solution to support the branches.
Supporting the branches works. You can even tie strings, etc to help support them (where you tie will get trimmed away next year's pruning so some damage is not important). Picking every other peach now works too. I'd pick any bird strikes. If they are not ready for eating then he needs to thin about every 8 inches next year ASAP before they get beyond the quarter size.
The peaches if not ripe can still be used in baking, preserves and possibly pickled (anyone with experience?) where you are adding sugar to a fruit that otherwise already has peach flavor.
edit: actually looking at the pics it looks like he does thin them pretty good and the tree looks pretty good. Depending upon how many years in the ground loaded branches frequently break under the weight and the high wind gusts we get. Prune any breaks flush just past the break to minimize the cut surface area. If it actually breaks at the branch collar (where it intersects the trunk) tread carefully to minimize damaging this important structure further. Also keep in mind the lifespan of a peach tree in the valley is only about 10-12 years.
Thank you, Powell!!