One of our now retired county agriculture extension agents, Lowell True, once said if you’re going to thin your fruit trees-have your neighbor do it. Human nature will hardly ever allow us to thin enough fruit off to be meaningful-it hurts to see all that fruit laying on the ground! If you want big nice peaches and a healthy unbroken tree you must remove many of the peaches, plums, apricots…that are set. In some cases this post may be even a little late, depending on variety. I like to wait until the fruit is at least golf ball size so the likelyhood that it will be big enough to go on to maturity is good. As you can see in the picture (just one side of the tree-and it’s a dwarf peach) there are quite a few young fruit laying on the ground. If, however, you were to inspect the tree you’d find many peaches still hanging. Remember also that they all basically get ripe at the same time so you’ll have to do something with them ALL. After thinning placing a bird netting on the tree is also a good idea as after going to that much trouble and time we want to minimize the amount of fruit that becomes bird food-perhaps leave the thinned fruit on the ground for the birds to pick at?
good thinning and happy ice cream eating ahead!