The More You Know, the More You Grow Peach trees produce ten times more blossoms than needed, so we use a method of manual thinning. Thinning down peach trees, like apples, is done to grow more significant fruit, that are tastier and more succulent. Our farm production manager, Craig Steely, will send production crews out… Read More »
The More You Know, the More You Grow
Peach trees produce ten times more blossoms than needed, so we use a method of manual thinning. Thinning down peach trees, like apples, is done to grow more significant fruit, that are tastier and more succulent. Our farm production manager, Craig Steely, will send production crews out into the peach orchards to manually remove fruitlets, the fruiting stage after blossoms in late spring. The fruitlets are plucked and allowed to fall to the ground and will compost into energy for the tree for use at later stages of life.
Craig prefers to thin after the fruit has been set rather than thin at the blossom stage to account for a potential late freeze. The fruitlets are manually removed after eyeing up the tree, aiming for 4-6” between each fruit. This is done, ideally, in late spring once the fruit sets, however, still early in the season. “The earlier in the season you thin, the more advantage you gain” according to Craig Steely, “as the tree only has a finite amount of resources to push to the fruit”. There are other times to thin as late as June, however, the best time to thin, according to Craig, is before the seed gets too hard which is almost midway through development. We start thinning the earliest varieties first and go row by row until completed. It takes about 40 minutes to thin a tree if performing it by oneself. With thirty acres of peaches, you can see we spend a lot of time on this valuable farm task to ensure the best peaches for you and your family.
Thinning takes care of ensuring there are not too many peaches on a branch which can reduce the size of the fruit and cause limb breakage. Peachtree limbs have a brittle nature and therefore don’t take excess weight well so we take these measures of fall pruning along with spring fruitlet thinning to help with that. We also discourage guests from climbing our peach trees when visiting to avoid losing limbs which would reduce fruit production and damage the tree.
How Sweet it is!
Peach trees are deciduous plants and can live as long as fifty years, although many have a life span of 8-15 years. Peach trees have brittle wood and we take care to prune the branches to maintain tree height. Since they have a long expectancy, pruning also aids the tree in removing dead or damaged limbs so it can regenerate appropriately. Too many branches reduce the amount of necessary sun and light on the fruit which can impact the yield. Peach trees can yield approximately three bushels per tree, with proper growing conditions. If you have ever visited our farm and picked a fresh peach in the fields then you know this process does produce the juiciest peaches! Learn more about picking your own fruit on our farm, in season.
Peaches are typically harvested in mid to late summer, look for them on our farm in August. Check out our annual harvest schedule for more information.