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October 22, 2016

QuestionI planted a nectarine tree about nine years ago. I have never been able to prune it because it starts to bloom every October and again in February. We had a tree load of nectarines four years after it was planted.  Then nothing until this last summer.  The tree was loaded again.  But the fruits do not get as large as the ones in the stores but juicy and sweeter.  I don't know if it is because we never could prune it because it never went dormant.  I think maybe the main tree has died and these are just sprouts off of the tree. What can we do to get it to bear every year and when is a good time to prune it?  I pruned a nectarine tree once when it had a broken limb but the tree died.

AnswerAll fruit trees need to be pruned every year, nectarines no exception.  The fall blooms are just a few errant flowers that are confused. The main pruning should be done before it begins to bloom in the spring which is from where the fruits will set.  Normally late February is the time to prune.  Nectarines are pruned very similarly to peaches.  Thin out some of the excess branches and keep it a manageable height to manage harvest.  Proper pruning may reduce the number of fruits that set, but will actually increase the size and quality of the fruits.


(February 2005)

QuestionCan you tell us the name of a fruit tree spray that would work for nectarines, peaches and Italian Plums?  Last year we had a lot of mold on our fruit, and we would like to do a better job this year.


AnswerYour best bet is to look for a complete home fruit orchard spray.  Many brand names are available.  Be sure to read the label and make sure it says it is for diseases and insects, since you need both insecticides and fungicides to have clean fruit.  Having it pre-mixed makes it easier.  Begin the spray schedule when two-thirds of the flower petals fall and repeat every two to three weeks throughout the season.

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