How to thin a peach tree:
Late May to Early June is the best time to do it. Ideally you should have fruit every 6-8 inches, preferably not in any nooks and crannies that could damage the peach. If the branch is thick and strong, you can leave 4-5 peaches. If it's thinner and breakable, maybe less. Again, it's discretionary and what we can an 'in the moment' decision.
How to thin an apricot tree:
Thinning should start mid-May if possible, as it is an earlier fruit than the peach. It is also smaller, therefore you can leave more on the branch. Leave approximately three inches between each fruit. Apricots like to grow side by side, but don't let them do this. It's better if they go it alone.
If you've driven by the Fruit Stand lately, or strolled through the orchards, you've probably wondered: "What the heck are all those ladders and people doing out there?"
The answer is this: Thinning.
No, it's not some kind of quick farmers fad diet, running up and down ladders to lose that extra winter weight. Although, that isn't such a bad idea. It's actually a very important process.
Fruit trees have the bad habit of producing more fruit then they can support. If allowed to grow unsupervised the over zealous fruit would compete for energy causing a little thing we like to call "sink." If the tree continues to attempt energy distribution among the loads of fruit there is little left for the tree itself. This can cause increased susceptibility to pests and sunburn damage.
Our trees are of the sensitive, loving sort, so we try our best to take care of them. By thinning the fruit early in the season we not only help create happy trees but happy fruit consumers as well. When the correct amount of fruit is left on a tree, it's concentrated delicious. True story.
What tree's should be thinned you ask? Good question! Here are a few that we recommend thinning:
-Peaches -Apricots -Nectarines -Some varieties of Pears -Some varieties of Apples
If you're not sure about the kind that you have you can trust google with it, or our friends down the street at Dogwood Nursery. Click on the link here for their website.
General life enthusiast and plant lover, Serina helps Jennay Oliver navigate through the winds of summer at the fruit stand. And sometimes she writes about it.