Question to North-eastern gardeners. How are your peaches and apricots doing this year? In the start of April we had 17F three nights in a row. I didn’t worry much about the trees, as I didn’t see them even started to swell. But now, I only see 3 blossoms on 2 apricots trees, and nothing on the peach tree, and leaves already started to unfold. It is actually first year out of 7 I have this peach, and it is not blooming. I do see many flower buds on apricot tree, but they look dormant, and when I touch them, they just fell off. This year winter was really mild - it was just few cold days and almost no snow, spring started early, and all was promising until that Polar Vortex came in… I understand that frost damage can happen, but from what I am reading that type of cold in that stage of bud development can take 10-20% of buds, but not 100%. So I am thinking may be there are some other factors I am missing?
For us, it was not the April dip that did the peaches in. It was the -12 F a few days in mid Feb. Those days were seriously low for conseutive days.
To me, extended subzero temp at -10, -12 F for over 24 hrs like that does more damage to our peaches than a short -15 F or -20 F.
First, welcome …
I am in zone 5b in New York. Same story here. The flowers buds on my peaches just fall off at the barest touch.
Not a good year for my peaches and apricots.
Thank you all! Just wanted to make sure I am not missing something other then cold…
Mamuang is closer to me, I’m in RI by the sea. 7b. six peach trees I have a total of nine peach flowers. I have five apricot flowers among three trees. The snap this past spring killed every thing but apples, pears and plums (and of course berries). My two favorite crops are gone. You are not alone, and nope you didn’t miss a thing!
Wow, 7B is much warmer, I wouldn’t expect it to be affected that badly…
Mrsg, what was the coldest it got up there this year?
The coldest it has ever gotten (since I have lived here) was in Feb. it was -8 degrees. Highly unusual and that temp. or a little above hovered in Fed. and Mar. That would do it.
I was wondering because you and I are only half a zone difference on the charts. I’m officially in 8A. This year we only approached 20 on one night in Jan and one night in Feb, a month later, with some days in the 80’s every month.
My impression from the last two winters has been that they are slow to arrive in your area, but can hit hard and are reluctant to give way to spring warmth.
I am here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, zone 6. I lost all of my apricots, most of the plums, and some peaches and nectarines. The apples and cherries are just starting to bloom, so hopefully a late freeze won’t destroy them. I have seen advertisements for tree covers (think row covers for trees). This might be worth looking into to try to protect the young blossoms from frost and freeze. I will have to look into it for maybe next year.
I had the same horrible result when I touched my little plumlets… At first I was thrilled to see them because they looked like little fruits, but every single one that I touched fell to the ground. Hopefully some small percentage made through alive, but I quit looking after depression set in.
I am with you here… Don’t even want to go and look. Now sour cherry is about to bloom, and guess what - they predict light frost in 10 days… It feels like they just methodically making us upset)
Toka ( Bubblegum) Plums seemed to come through ok. Prcatically full laod of flowers.,
Muddy also two weeks ago, we had a snow and ice storm that did in my buds. They were just starting to swell, then pretty much all of them turned black.
The only thing the recent frost killed for sure was Satsuma plum flower buds. Peaches were dead long before that. Shiro plum is a tough cookie and its flower buds have survived the recent killing frost in a decent shape.
Not sure about the rest. Need more time to assess.
Besides the apricot, I don’t think I will have any decease in any stone fruits this year . My Nect lost about half flower buds, but, I usually thin more than half of it. If each branches usually has 10 flower buds ,I have 5 now and I going to thin it down to 3. My July elberta lost about 20%flower buds and my reliance only lost about 10% or less.
The strange thing is in normal years, reliance blooms first ,then july elberta, then Nect. This year, July elberta and nect bloomed at same time. Reliance has not show pink yet. but I checked Reliance’s flower buds, especially those smaller in size, they all have not show any freezer demadge.
Also, I noticed the flowers color a little deeper pink than normal. What influence the flower colors?
I’m zone 6 and also zone 5b. My peaches in six were in full bloom by early April. Last week frost and I think killed all blossoms. Time will tell if anything made it. I doubt it though. Blossoms are all wilted turning brown. grrrr.
Yeah they are dead. I had that happen. Some good reports about Toka and Shiro. Sounds like ones to have! I’m going to have peaches here, but some were killed. I can’t tell till they form fruit. Flowers are staying on so a good sign!
Its surprising the large gap in reliability on Japanese plums. This year I lost some to freeze damage but still look to get a great set on the reliable ones. Here is my overall experience over the years. I didn’t have the freeze as hard as @mamuang so my Satsuma did not fare bad at all.
Super reliable (always oversetting)
Shiro, Weeping Santa Rosa, Satsuma, Spring Satin, Earli Magic
Reliable (usually sets plenty)
Lavinia, Superior, Beauty, Purple Heart, Flavor Grenade, AU Roadside, Ruby Queen, Lavinia
Somewhat reliable (OK but not great crop)
Flavor King, Fortune, Laroda, Mariposa, Wickson
Not reliable (little or nothing most years)
Santa Rosa, Flavor Supreme, Sweet Treat
I am moving to replace the lower ones with the upper ones … this spring I am turning my very large Santa Rosa into Weeping Santa Rosa. I don’t think anyone in the east should grow the former, its a horrible setter and WSR is much better and is also tastier.
Thanks for the report. I was disappointed because the stage of Satsuma flower buds were behind Shiro… Shiro showed some white when the freeze hit last week while Satsuma buds were just started to push.
As far as I could see, all those Satsuma clusters were brown and dead. Shiro went on to bloom. I am glad I have Shiro. They are so cold hardy and productive. Although they are not the sweetest, they are way better than store bought plum. Above all, they are all I have for J. Plum