Peach Tree Care

Asked June 22, 2017, 11:18 PM EDT

I just bought a house and discovered that I have a peach tree in my backyard. The neighbors were not aware we had one and could not tell me if the fruit it produced was good. My question is "How do I make sure that the peach tree bears fruit until ripe? There is already peaches developing on it but I want to do whatever I need to to make sure they don't fall too early and that they produce healthy fruit. Please help, I am a first time home owner and do not understand much about gardening. I live in Germantown, MD with a 1/4 acre lot with the grassy backyard backed up against a small wooded area. There is a good amount of red clay in my soil as well.

Montgomery County Maryland trees and shrubs fruit peaches trees

1 Response

If you see any unripe peaches dropping from the tree at this time of year, that is a normal process referred to as "June drop." It is a natural thinning process that occurs especially when there has been no hand thinning of the fruits. You want thinning of the fruits, as that those that remain on the tree will be larger.

For a general guide to growing peaches, please see our web page, which has recommendations about proper pruning and disease management: https://extension.umd.edu/growit/stone-fruit-peaches-cherries-plums-apricots-nectarines

Peaches, unfortunately, are very susceptible to a variety of disease issues in Maryland, and for this reason they are hard to grow organically. For good fruit production, we recommend that homeowners follow the Virginia Tech Home Fruit Disease spray schedule. This is updated annually and provides recommendations on when to spray and what to use.

See the following pages for more information:
https://extension.umd.edu/growit/diseases-stone-fruit

https://extension.umd.edu/growit/tree-fruits-pest-control-and-spray-schedules

https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/456/456-018/section3-home-fruit.pdf

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact us again.

ckc