Falling Fruit - Knowledgebase Question

Knoxville, Te
Question by jason73
May 14, 2010
I have a dwarf peach tree on my deck in a LARGE (28


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Answer from NGA
May 14, 2010

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As a general rule, fruit trees bear fruit when they become old enough to blossom freely, provided other conditions are favorable. Pollination, cultural practices and environment greatly influence the plant's ability to bear. Any of these factors alone or in combination can prevent fruit set or cause flowers not to develop and fruit to drop prematurely.

Peach trees go through a natural thinning process in May or June. Such shedding of fruit is a natural process and with most fruit species, little if anything can be done to prevent its occurrence.

Some fruit drop is normal but excessive amounts of drop may have been caused by either lack of chill and/or pollination.

If the supply of nitrogen is low, more fruit may fall in the "June drop" than if the nitrogen supply is adequate. In the absence of an annual fertilizing, one can expect more fruit to drop.

The water supply may also influence the number of young fruit to fall. A water deficit may not be as critical as too much water. In soils that are poorly drained, the roots of the fruit tree are often injured due to low oxygen supplies in the soil. In such cases, the roots do not absorb water rapidly enough because of a limited root system to replace the water lost from the leaves during dry, hot days. Likewise, the soil may be so shallow that the root system is too small to absorb water as fast as the leaf surface loses it. When there is a severe water deficit, the leaves of some species draw water away from the fruit.

I don't know if any of these cultural or environmental conditions apply to your peach tree, but they are worth considering as possible causes for complete fruit drop in your peach tree.

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