Help with dumb hoa

Asked October 16, 2015, 4:22 PM EDT

I received a notice from my hoa regarding peach tree in my yard. Amazingly, they sent me a notice dated October 2 asking me to trim the 'deadwood' off my "deciduous tree". The tree is fine, it has merely shed most its leaves for the winter, The lower leaves drop off first. Our tree yields a bounty of peaches every year. To address questions above: The tree has been in our yard over 7 years. the hoa has been around since our house was built. The tree is consistent every year (though a dry summer= smaller peaches this year). The tree gets sun most of the day, but shade in the morning. The soil is hard clay with lots of construction rock, I use some fertilizer every year, but not much else. My question is simply would one of your experts please provide me with a short explanation of tree hibernation, with perhaps a few peach tree specifics, that I can send to my hoa to explain why the tree lacks leaves in October? Thanks in advance!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

We feel your pain, and hope we can help.

Trees enter into winter dormancy at different times, and may enter 'early' or 'late' depending on environmental factors as well. For instance, stressed trees in years of drought, might show early fall color and lose their leaves a bit earlier than usual.

Fruit trees, such as peach, which waken from dormancy relatively early, much earlier than shade trees. Because of this they often enter the winter rest period a little earlier too, because they have completed their reproductive task of setting and ripening fruit. This should not be seen as 'deadwood' because it is not.

When the tree leafs out and blossoms in the spring the healthy wood should be evident, and dead wood, if present, can be pruned out at that time.

For help with understanding when a dead or dying tree should be removed, the following publication is very helpful: