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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bitter Peaches

Q. We have two peach trees that are 7 years old.  This year the peaches on both trees taste bitter.  I don't recall doing anything differently. One of the trees produced bitter peaches the year after we planted it. but has been fine until this year.  Do you have any thoughts on this?

A. You don’t mention if the peach is a miniature or not. There is variation on the quality of fruit produced on fruit trees and much of that is surrounding the weather during the growing year.
One of the genetic dwarf peaches at the UNCE Orchard in North Las Vegas with full-sized peach fruits because of thinning, pruning and proper care.

For instance this year our early peaches and even our early apricots did not have the same quality in flavor due to our unusually cool spring. And they did not ripen evenly as well.

Many of our fruit needs to have consistently warm or even hot temperatures during its development to develop good flavor and lots of sugar. Otherwise they can be bland or worse.

I have also noticed that miniature peaches such as Bonanza produce fruit that is very variable in quality from year to year. It is nothing you did and there really is not much you can do about it.

Have you heard about wines having good years and bad years? Well it is the same with most fruit. I think your fruit, and unfortunately you, had a bad year. When the weather is good during fruit development in future years the quality will be better as well.

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