Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thinning Fruit Trees

For those of you who are contemplating a peach or apple orchard here is a short news release about thinning the fruit and why.  As new farmers we have the tendancy to believe that the more fruit there is on a tree the more money I'll be able to make.  Read what the article has to say about this.

Now is the time that peach and apple growers in Missouri should thin fruit from their trees, said a University of Missouri Extension horticulturist.

Thin your trees before peaches and apples reach the size of a dime, said Michele Warmund. Not thinning enough can lead to limbs breaking under the weight of too much fruit. It also can result in smaller fruit with lower sugar levels.

“Peach producers should thin off about 90 percent of the fruit in May to harvest a good crop this summer,” she said.

When thinning peaches, leave one fruit every 8 inches. Some growers thin by striking the peach tree limbs with rubber hoses, but this can result in a loss of leaves, she said.

Apples usually grow five fruits in a cluster. Thin clusters to a single fruit to increase the size and sugar content of the fruit.

“If a tree has 500 apples on it, they are 500 small apples. Sugars must be distributed among all these fruits,” Warmund said. When thinned down to 100 apples, you get a much bigger and sweeter fruit.

Thinning apple trees also improves pest and disease control. “When you have five fruits hanging together, moisture collects between the fruits, making an ideal environment for disease,” she said.

The earlier you thin your trees, the bigger the fruit at the end of the growing season, she said.

The University of Missouri has numerous publications on fruit production that can be helpful for farmers.

No comments:

Post a Comment