Growing Peaches In Climate Zone 5


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Growing Peaches in Northern Illinois is a power point presentation given at the Chicago Botanical Gardens in February of 2008 by Dennis Norton of Royal Oak Farm.

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  • Growing Peaches In Climate Zone 5

    1. 1. Growing Peaches in Zone 5 (Northern Illinois) (Growing Peaches Where Some Say You Can’t) or or
    2. 2. <ul><li>Royal Oak Farm has been growing peaches for about 15 years in Northern Illinois. </li></ul><ul><li>From 1993 to the present we have seen temperatures of 12 to 18 degrees below zero, the coldest occurred in 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>From 1993 to 2004 we lost only 6 to 8 trees total. In 2004 we planted about 900 new peach trees. </li></ul><ul><li>In February of 2007 we lost over 10% of our 3-4 yr. old trees planted in 2004 to -14 below zero temps that lasted for a period of 2 hours, but still produced peaches on many trees. </li></ul><ul><li>Why could we still produce peaches on many trees while at the same time lose trees to -14 below zero temperatures? </li></ul>Introduction
    3. 3. How Cold can they get? Grape American French hybrid How Berries Hardy How Tree Fruits Strawberry -5 o F Hardy Blueberry (Interspecific hybrids) -25 o -35 o Apple -30 o F Pear -25 o Brambles Red Raspberries Purple Raspberries Black Raspberry Thorny Blackberry Thornless Blackberry -30 o -15 o -5 o -25 o 0 o Peach, Nectarine -15 o Sweet Cherry -12 o Tart Cherry -30 o Apricot -15 o -30 o -15 o Peaches compared to other tree fruits
    4. 4. <ul><li>The temperature at which the fruit buds are injured depends primarily on their stage of development. </li></ul><ul><li>They are most hardy during the winter when they are fully dormant. As they begin to swell and expand into blossoms, they become less resistant to freeze injury. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all blossom buds are equally tender. Resistance to freeze injury varies within trees as it does between location and varieties . </li></ul><ul><li>Buds which develop slowly tend to be more resistant. </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, some buds are usually killed at higher temperatures while others are resistant at much lower temperatures. </li></ul>The Key Is The Buds!
    5. 5. <ul><li>Flower buds are borne on 1-year old wood </li></ul><ul><li>Center bud is a leaf bud </li></ul><ul><li>Large bud on either side is a flower bud </li></ul>Peach Flower Buds Photo: W.Lord
    6. 6. <ul><li>If winter temperatures do not go too low, buds will be bright yellow and green inside </li></ul><ul><li>Low winter temperatures are only part of the story – temperature fluctuations are the real threat </li></ul>Healthy Flower Buds Photo, W Lord
    7. 7. If Winter Is Too Cold <ul><li>This bud was killed by cold winter temperatures </li></ul><ul><li>It will drop off as buds begin to swell in spring </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the correct varieties and plant on warm sites to prevent this loss </li></ul>Photo: W.Lord
    8. 8. They Made It!
    9. 9. Old standard temperature is the lowest temperature that can be endured for 30 minutes without damage. This chart also shows the temperature that will kill 10 % and 90 % of normal fruit buds. These numbers were taken from Washington (WSU), Michigan (MSU) and North Carolina (NCS) Extension Bulletins. Peaches - WSU EB0914 Portions of these bulletins are posted at Gregg Lang's Fruit Bud Hardiness Page at the MSU Horticulture Department Spring temperatures are generally much more critical to peach production than dormant winter temps.
    10. 10. How Do We Do It? <ul><li>Site </li></ul><ul><li>Rootstock & Variety </li></ul><ul><li>Planting </li></ul><ul><li>Pruning </li></ul><ul><li>Pest Management </li></ul>Key Factors for Cold Climates
    11. 11. Site Selection <ul><li>Well drained soils are essential (Excess soil moisture leads to plant injury or death and increases risk of disease) </li></ul><ul><li>Good Air Drainage (frost-free, fruit rots) </li></ul><ul><li>Hilltop vs slope (hilltops are best for air drainage, but winds are worse on cold hardiness) </li></ul><ul><li>Sunlight All Day Long (plant rows east to west) </li></ul><ul><li>Access to Water </li></ul><ul><li>A realistic appreciation of the climatic limits of the location </li></ul>Peaches are only hardy on good sites.
    12. 12. Planting <ul><li>Use only native soil for backfill </li></ul><ul><li>Soil filled with fertilizer & amendments encourages roots to stay in hole </li></ul><ul><li>Roots should extend into native soil as soon as possible for drought tolerance and anchoring </li></ul><ul><li>Add fertilizer & amendments to the surface around the tree and about 12” away from the tree </li></ul><ul><li>Water as you fill the hole to prevent air pockets </li></ul><ul><li>Water every 10 days for first season if no rain </li></ul><ul><li>I am not an advocate of mulch. Mulch can contain disease or harbor disease. Instead keep tree weed free and ground bare for frost protection </li></ul>
    13. 13. Rootstock Photo, W Lord While many rootstocks and dwarf trees are available, planting on seedling or standard rootstocks is best for peaches.
    14. 14. Cold Hardy Rootstocks <ul><li>Lovell – A standard in Northern Illinois; good disease tolerance </li></ul><ul><li>Tennessee Natural </li></ul><ul><li>Bailey Seedling – standard size, hardy </li></ul><ul><li>Halford Seedling –A proven performer, very hardy </li></ul>All spaced 12x20 for open center or 10 x 14 for central leader
    15. 15. <ul><li>PF 7A Freestone - 10 days </li></ul><ul><li>PF 24-007 + 22 days </li></ul><ul><li>PF 24C Coldhardy + 24 days </li></ul><ul><li>PF 25 + 26 days </li></ul><ul><li>PF 1 - 30 days </li></ul><ul><li>Garnet Beauty (-11) </li></ul><ul><li>Harcrest (+26) </li></ul><ul><li>Summer Serenade (sport of Garnet Beauty) </li></ul><ul><li>Autumn Star (+ 45) - new cultivar, 2003; very hardy fruit buds, but very late </li></ul>Cold Hardy Varieties <ul><li>Red Haven </li></ul><ul><li>Contender (+18) - has high chilling requirement (1050 hrs) & very hardy fruit buds </li></ul><ul><li>Cresthaven (+24) </li></ul><ul><li>Madison (+24) - buds very hardy, but fruit is tender & does not pack/ship well </li></ul><ul><li>Redskin (+29) – bloom & harvest is spread out, providing more frost hardiness. </li></ul><ul><li>Reliance (+3) - reliable cropping, but tends to have poor quality fruit </li></ul>Varieties + or - days of harvest relative to the old standard Redhaven & have been developed for the upper Mid-West area of theUnited States
    16. 16. Pruning <ul><li>Unpruned trees tend to produce weak, short growth and small fruit. </li></ul><ul><li>Pruning should be done as close to bud break as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps the tree within height and width bounds affording easier management and harvest </li></ul><ul><li>Increases the size and color of the fruit </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps the fruiting wood vigorous and productive </li></ul><ul><li>Helps in insect and disease control </li></ul><ul><li>Pruning is an annual process </li></ul><ul><li>The central leader system is highly recommended </li></ul><ul><li>Pruning stone fruit trees is based on the growth and fruiting habit of the tree. </li></ul>
    17. 17. PRUNING AT PLANTING <ul><li>A one-year peach tree may have several side branches. After planting, all branches within 18 to 20 inches of the ground, shoots that are broken, and those with narrow crotch angles should be removed. </li></ul><ul><li>Three or four branches with wide angles vertically spaced 6 to 12 inches apart should be selected for the main scaffolds. </li></ul><ul><li>All other branches should be cut off at the trunk being careful to observe the location of the branch bark ridge and branch collar. The leader should be cut back to 30 to 36 inches above the ground. </li></ul><ul><li>Lateral branches selected as scaffolds should be pruned to 2 to 4 inches long stubs, each having one bud. </li></ul>
    18. 18. During the second year: <ul><li>Remove branches that tend to grow inward or straight up through the center of the tree </li></ul><ul><li>Remove limbs that grow from one side of the tree across to the other side </li></ul><ul><li>Head back (lightly) permanent scaffolds that exceed 30 inches with few or no side branches </li></ul><ul><li>Remove all but 2 or 3 well-spaced side branches (secondary scaffolds) from the permanent scaffolds. The side branches remaining should be at least 30 inches in length and grow out and slightly up. Those that grow down, straight up, or within 15 inches of the trunk should be removed. </li></ul>
    19. 19. PRUNING BEARING (MATURE) TREES <ul><li>Peaches are borne laterally on shoots that grew the previous year (1-year old shoots). Therefore, pruning must stimulate new shoot growth each year. The number of fruit buds formed is greatest on the longer shoots. Hence, a six inch shoot will have fewer fruit buds than a shoot 18 inches in length. </li></ul><ul><li>On a vigorous one-year shoot, three buds are usually produced at each node (See Figure). The two plump outside buds are blossom buds and the smaller bud in the center is a leaf bud. </li></ul><ul><li>A less vigorous shoot may only have one fruit and one leaf bud at each node. Shoots over 18 inches in length shoots may even lack fruit buds. </li></ul><ul><li>The key to fruit production on a peach, therefore, is to prune and fertilize to produce new shoots each year which are 10 to 15 inches in length. </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>When pruning a fruit-bearing tree, the following branches (secondary scaffolds) should be removed: </li></ul><ul><li>those that are broken, diseased, or insect infested, </li></ul><ul><li>those that are slender and weak - especially on the inside of the tree, </li></ul><ul><li>those that grow toward the center or straight up, and </li></ul><ul><li>those that grow down and interfere with mowing or other equipment. </li></ul>PRUNING BEARING (MATURE) TREES
    21. 21. <ul><li>Biological control - Use of beneficial organisms to manage pests </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural control - Crop rotation, improved sanitation, and other practices that reduce pest pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanical and physical control - Traps, cultivation and physical barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Chemical control - Judicious use of pesticides that pose a low risk to human health, non-target species and the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Resistant varieties - Use of crop varieties that yield well even under high pest pressure. </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory control </li></ul><ul><li>State and federal regulations that prevent the spread of pests </li></ul>Integrated Pest Management Integrated pest management (IPM) is a sustainable approach to managing pests. IPM practitioners base decisions on information that is collected systematically as they integrate biological, cultural, mechanical, physical and chemical controls.
    22. 22. Overall Spray Program <ul><li>The best control for peach twig borer on peach trees is a dormant or delayed dormant spray (shortly before bloom). </li></ul><ul><li>Peach twig borer and Oriental fruit moth can cause severe twig dieback and damage to fruit if not controlled. </li></ul><ul><li>Treat peach, apricot, nectarine and plum trees in July and August to control peach tree borer (crown borer) </li></ul><ul><li>Cytospora canker is a fungus problem that results in bark damage with an amber to brown gum on trunk or branches </li></ul>
    23. 23. A Complete Spray <ul><li>Insects/Disease </li></ul><ul><li>Plum curculio, oriental fruit moth, Japanese Beetle, mites, aphids </li></ul><ul><li>Brown rot, Coryneum blight, peach scab </li></ul>Available at most hardware stores, garden centers or on-line.
    24. 24. Pest & Disease Managment <ul><li>Dormant, Before Bud Swell </li></ul><ul><li>Disease. Leaf curl. Apply dormant copper spray. </li></ul><ul><li>Insects. Mites, scales. Lecanium scale and San Jose scale: apply Esteem at 4.0-5.0 oz with oil. Use higher rate of Esteem under heavy scale pressure. </li></ul><ul><li>Brown rot. Remove all fruit from trees after last picking to prevent brown rot fungus from overwintering in mummies and twig cankers. Discing lightly under the trees no later than first bloom will aid in preventing fruiting of the brown rot fungus on old mummies in contact with the soil. Clean cultivation is not necessary--just disturb the mummy's contact with the soil. If this is not done, bloom sprays may become more critical. </li></ul><ul><li>Cytospora canker. Cytospora canker is one of the most destructive diseases of peaches </li></ul>
    25. 25. Cytospora Canker
    26. 26. Cytospora Canker <ul><li>Also known as perennial canker, peach canker, Leucostoma canker, and Valsa canker, the disease may cause trees in young orchards to die. </li></ul><ul><li>Infected trees in older orchards gradually lose productivity and slowly decline. </li></ul><ul><li>The fungus attacks the woody parts of stone fruit trees through bark injuries and pruning cuts, and through dead shoots and buds </li></ul><ul><li>Visible first is the exuding of gum at the point of infection. (gumosis) </li></ul><ul><li>The canker forms from a small necrotic center that slowly enlarges with the collapse of the inner bark tissue. </li></ul><ul><li>Cankers enlarge more along the length than the width of the branch. </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Cytospora canker involves total orchard management. Since no stone fruit tree is immune, and fungicide treatments alone are not effective, control efforts must be aimed at reducing tree injuries where infection could begin. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Pest & Disease Management <ul><li>Pink to First Open Bloom </li></ul><ul><li>Disease. Brown rot (blossom blight). Blossom blight typically is not a problem unless temperatures are above 55°F, it is warm and wet, or brown rot has been a problem in the past. </li></ul><ul><li>Insects. Plant bugs, green peach aphid. </li></ul><ul><li>Plant bugs. Applying alternate row-middle sprays at reduced intervals should improve control. Plant bug feeding injury results in sunken areas on developing fruit that is not pubescent. Bugs are most persistent in orchards with alfalfa or clover sods. Since peaches are most vulnerable to catfacing injury at pink and petal fall, do not cultivate soil in orchards at those times. Cultivation only serves to destroy many alternate host plants, thus driving the insects up into the peach trees. </li></ul><ul><li>Oriental fruit moth mating disruption. If hand-applied mating disruption is used, dispensers should be placed at the pink stage at the recommended label rate. All dispensers should be in place before bloom. </li></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>Petal Fall </li></ul><ul><li>Disease. Brown rot, scab. </li></ul><ul><li>Insects. Oriental fruit moth, plant bugs, plum curculio, aphids. </li></ul><ul><li>Plum curculio. If plum curculio is a problem, shorten spray intervals through the first cover spray. </li></ul><ul><li>Green peach aphid. If this aphid is present, add Actara, Lannate, or Provado. </li></ul>Pest & Disease Management
    29. 29. <ul><li>Shuck Split, Shuck Fall </li></ul><ul><li>Diseases. Scab, brown rot, bacterial spot, rusty spot. </li></ul><ul><li>Insects. Plum curculio, Oriental fruit moth, leafrollers, plant bugs, aphids. </li></ul><ul><li>Rusty spot. Spotting on the fruit of some varieties such as Redskin, Many of the new peach cultivars are also highly susceptible. Sulfur may reduce rusty spot incidence. Follow label recommendations. </li></ul><ul><li>Bacterial spot. Copper in spring and fall. Begin weekly applications of Mycoshield at shuck split on susceptible varieties. Sprayer air velocity should not exceed 100 mph. The first applications are most critical for control. Do not apply within 3 weeks of harvest. Dilute sprays with Mycoshield have provided the best control. Spraying at night under slow drying conditions is most effective. </li></ul><ul><li>Green peach aphid. </li></ul><ul><li>Plum curculio. Same control as at petal fall </li></ul>Pest & Disease Management
    30. 30. <ul><li>First, Second, Third Covers </li></ul><ul><li>Diseases. Scab, brown rot, bacterial spot. </li></ul><ul><li>Insects. Oriental fruit moth, leafrollers, lesser peachtree borer, mites, plant bugs, scales. </li></ul><ul><li>Bacterial spot. Same as shuck split/fall </li></ul><ul><li>Mites. For mite control, use Fruit Tree Spray </li></ul><ul><li>Early season lesser peachtree borer. If there is only a moderate problem (less than 2 borers/tree), wait until late summer to apply controls If there are more than two borers per tree, make an application now and again in late summer. This borer attacks weak or injured trees in winter damaged orchards and diseased trees, especially those with canker. Adult borers deposit eggs in wounds from May through August. The peak egg-laying period for the first generation is in June. Low-volume sprays are not effective on lesser peachtree borer. Use only high-volume, handgun applications. Be sure to cover trunk and scaffold limbs. </li></ul>Pest & Disease Management
    31. 31. Conclusion <ul><li>Site </li></ul><ul><li>Rootstock & Variety </li></ul><ul><li>Planting </li></ul><ul><li>Pruning </li></ul><ul><li>Pest Management </li></ul>You Can Do It!
    32. 32. A Nice Peach Crop! Photo: W.Lord