Posts Tagged ‘peach tree’

Fascinating Facts: Peaches

April 11th, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

Fascinating Facts: Peaches

Botanical name:  Prunus persica

Origins: Although its botanical name, which literally translates as ‘Persian plum’, suggests the peach originated from Persia (modern-day Iran), genetic research indicates that it actually comes from China.

First cultivated: Peaches have been cultivated in China since the Neolithic period.

Types: Peaches are classified as either clingstone or freestone, depending on whether the flesh adheres to the stone or not. There are early and late varieties, fruit with white, yellow or red flesh, and dwarf varieties which can be grown in containers. Nectarines are also part of the Prunus persica family.

Did you know?

Peaches have been cultivated in China for thousands of years, with evidence suggesting that domestication of the fruit occurred as early as 6000 BC in Zhejiang Province. From China, the fruit travelled west via the Silk Route to Persia where it was widely cultivated, earning it the botanical name Prunus persica. Alexander the Great is credited with introducing the fruit to Europe after he conquered Persia, although peaches weren’t widely known in England until the 17th century, and even then they were regarded as a rare treat.

Peaches have always had a special significance in their native China, where they are symbolic of unity and immortality. According to Chinese mythology, they confer longevity on all who eat them. Chinese brides traditionally carry peach blossoms in their bouquetsThe symbol of the peach frequently appears in Chinese legend, art and literature, and Chinese brides traditionally carry peach blossoms in their bouquets.

The Japanese associate peaches with purity and the banishment of evil, after their famous folktale Momotaro or ‘Peach Boy’. This ancient legend tells the tale of a boy who was born from a peach and grew up to be a brave hero who fought evil demons. He is one of the most well-known characters in Japan and is regarded as a role-model for children because of his kind-heartedness and bravery. A festival takes place in his honour on May 5th every year in the Japanese city of Inuyama.

Peach trees and fruit often appear in European art and literature. They have prominently featured in paintings by famous artists including Caravaggio, Renoir, Monet, Manet and Van Gough, variously symbolizing love, health, beauty, fertility, sensuality and the transience of life.

A member of the rose family, the peach is closely related to the almond, and is a sweet and fragrant stone fruit that can be used in a variety of culinary ways. Aside from the obvious jams, cakes, tarts, pies, cobblers and smoothies, peaches also lend themselves to savoury dishes such as salads, pizzas and soups, and they make an excellent accompaniment to meats.

Low in calories and high in fibre, peaches are a good source of vitamins A and C. Including the fruit in your diet can help maintain healthy bones and teeth, boost the immune system, and improve the skin. Peaches are rich in zinc which is thought to have anti-aging properties,Grow a Peach tree and be rewarded with sweet and juicy fruits in the summer and oils from the fruit are widely used in the cosmetics industry.

Despite their exotic origins, peaches have been successfully grown in the UK for hundreds of years, and they are a beautiful addition to any garden. They are one of the first fruit trees to flower, their delicate pink blossoms perfuming the early spring air, and in summer, you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of sweet and juicy fruit. The taste of a homegrown, sun-ripened peach is as good as it gets, and a world away from the peaches you buy from the supermarket.

To browse all our varieties of Peach trees, just follow this link to the Apricot & Peach tree section of our website.

Why Thinning Your Fruit Creates a Better Harvest

July 26th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

It’s summer. Your fruit trees are already brimming with young fruits, ready to eventually give way to a delicious crop to enjoy at the end of the growing season. But if you want to get the most from your harvest, you will need to start removing some fruits. It may feel like you’re taking a step back, but it’s the way to go if you want your crop to reach its full potential.

Read on or watch the video to find out why thinning your fruits is best for your harvest not just this growing season, but for future seasons too.

Why Thin Fruits?

Selectively removing young fruits is called thinning. Some trees already do this naturally, like apples and pears, during what is known as the June-drop. But additional thinning can benefit your crop for a number of reasons:

  • It creates less chance of the tree fruits rubbing together, which can lead to diseases like rot.
  • It stops trees from biennial bearing – where the tree crops heavily one year, only to produce very few fruits the next.
  • It stops the branches straining and snapping under the weight of excessive or heavy fruits – particularly a problem with plums, which are notorious for over-producing.
  • It gives the remaining fruits the space they need to grow into bigger, healthier fruits. They will benefit from more airflow, sunlight and energy from the tree, meaning a more even ripening.

How to Thin an Apple Tree

You will need a sharp pair of pruners, however if the fruits are very close together you may find it easier using a pair of scissors so you can really get in between them.

Apples generally produce clusters of between two to six fruits, but the aim is to thin them down to just one or two fruits per cluster.

When you’re ready for cutting, start by targeting all the misshapen, damaged or scarred fruits. This usually includes the odd-shaped ‘king’ fruit, which lies at the centre of the cluster. After that, remove the smallest fruits and any that are awkwardly positioned and going to get in the way of your better fruits. Continue thinning until the fruits are evenly spaced, leaving only the biggest and healthiest.

Aim to leave about 4-6 inches (10-15cm) between individual apples of eating varieties. For larger cooking apples, aim to leave around 6-9 inches (15-23cm) between your fruits.

Pears need less thinning than apples, but will still benefit from it as well as give more consistent harvests.

Thinning Other Fruit Trees

Pears

Pears don’t need as much thinning as apples, but your crop will still benefit from having the young fruits thinned and in turn will give you consistent harvests. Aim to thin fruit cluster to two fruits, leaving around 4-6 inches (10-15cm) between fruits.

Plums

Thinning plums is important as they are notorious for over-producing. More often than not, you can thin the smaller fruits by using just your thumb and finger to detach them. Aim to leave one fruit every couple of inches (5-8cm), or one pair of plums every 6 inches (15cm).

Peaches

Thin your peaches in stage. Once they reach the size of  a hazelnut thin them down to one fruit every 4 inches (10cm). Thin again once they are the size of a golf ball to their final spacing of 8-10 inches (20-25cm).

Nectarines

You should thin your nectarines just the once to 6 inches (15cm) apart.

 

These are just some guidelines for thinning your fruits to help create a better harvest. If you would like to share any thinning tips or tricks with us, comment below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter page.