July 12, 2017
peaches in the backyard
Last spring, I made the decision to replace the ornamentals in the backyard with fruit-bearing trees or plants. (Some may say that in my old age, I’m becoming an immigrant; others may say I have too much time on my hands.) The first new planting was a Redhaven dwarf-peach. (I researched the best peach variety for Zone 6 and the Redhaven kept coming up. The variety is known for its attractive pink spring flowers, sweet yellow fruit and bright gold fall foliage. The Redhaven produces large, yellow freestone peaches that are ready for harvest midseason – July. The dwarf version of the tree, reaches only about 6 feet and can be expected to live more than 40 years with proper care.) By the end of last year’s growing season, the tree was spindly, but almost 5-feet tall. All the literature on the plant mentioned not to expect fruit in the first two or three years. But this spring, the tree had a number of blossoms. This was a wonderful surprise.
The above pic is one of the peaches and it was juicy and very tasty. Imagine eating a peach that isn’t hard as a rock or a peach that you can eat by just biting into the flesh. Going out, first thing in the morning, and picking a peach off the tree and having it with my toast is what summer is all about.
And I’m certainly looking to fall and to pruning the very full tree. I found these guidelines online.
Prune the tree every year in the late fall when the leaves have all dropped and the tree is dormant. Remove all dead and diseased limbs, followed by any that grow toward the center of the tree and those that cross or rub against each other. Cut off any branches that grow straight up and shape the tree similar to a vase or lollypop. Thin the canopy by removing any branches that will shade the fruit growing at the center.