Peach Tree issues, 7th straight yr no fruit :(

I asked this question in “questions not deserving a whole thread” and few members gave me tips. But I didn’t tell the whole story in that thread so I figured I’ll create a new thread w pics.
This is my oldest fruit tree. Planted 7 yrs ago. For the last 4 years it got covered with peaches, hundreds of them but never got one ripe fruit because of the squirrels. This year I sort of got the squirrel issue under control but it looks like this year tree won’t make any fruit! All the flowers got dried up. I also noticed edges of the leaves turning brown. Also twig die backs.

Here are some facts that might be helpful or unrelated:

I sprayed copper in fall. Sulfur in February. Copper again on March 25, delayed dormant.

I sprayed neem oil while tree was in bloom. (Bad idea?)

I gave the tree about 4 table spoon of urea about 3 weeks ago.

Peach Tree trunk got damaged when we cut down a tree near by.

There is also a large root going right next to the peach tree that I don’t think is a peach root (I may be wrong) it might belong to the maple tree 15-20 ft away?

Tree site slopes slightly but water doesn’t collect around the tree.

Apple reee 10 ft away got the same treatments except the flowers not in bloom when I sprayed neem. And it was more dormant than peach at copper spray. It looks healthy so far.

Sorry about the long thread but wanted to get all the info out.

My first guess would be it got frozen out. There was some really cold weather in March. The leaf tips burned can be because the leaves were just coming out at the time of the freeze and the tips got frozen. Dead shoot tips always happens, but freeze events makes that worse.

My next guess would be the neem did something bad, but thats much less likely than a freeze.

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Hey Susu, we are both in the Philly burbs so I hope this helps. My Elberta peach lost many blooms due to what I think was the cold in March but my unnamed peach, which is older and more established seemed okay. I was out looking at the peaches last night and was disappointed with how many of the Elberta’s flowers were growing into peaches. Maybe 25 at best, and the tree was covered with flowers not long ago. I sprayed copper on the tree and pruned it on 3/24 and had the first flowers on 4/11 (thanks garden journal!). I have not seen any browning twigs or leaf tips like you have.

Why neem? I was spraying neem for a few years based on Michael Phillip’s book, but switched to Scott’s low impact spray schedule last year, which seemed to work better (hard to tell for sure with small sample size and other factors such as older trees). Surround and spinosad was all I sprayed last year after the tree had leaves, and it worked for me. I’m going to include sulpher this year when the peaches are nickle sized to help with scab.

Thank you both.
Scott: what do you think about the spots on the twigs?
Jim: your trees bloomed and then dried up or never bloomed? I’m thinking if the tree blooms and then dry up it can’t be the cold temps.
Somebody Correct me if I’m wrong.

Mine bloomed then dried up. It never got to that cold temp that should damage the peaches, at least according to the weather channel. I’m not sure why this happened, but it will making thinning easy. It is funny how one tree has been very little trouble and the other has been nothing but.

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I thought the 1st and 4th pic of small shoots were from cold injury. What variety of peach tree is it? One of my few first peach trees was called Redhaven. It’s dead after one winter. I’m pretty sure it was not a real Redhaven.

After 7 years, I think your peach should have grown much more than what shown in the last pic. If I were to plant more peach trees in your yard, I’d plant them on mounds.

This is Elberta (Home Depot tree so could be anything I guess)
This was purchased before I became a member here and knew what a rootstock s :slight_smile:

I pruned the tree down a lot because I had let it grow very tall and no real shape. Once I started to read about pruning, I started to work on a vase shape little by little. That maybe the reason tree seems smaller for its age. But I guess you are looking at the trunk?
I don’t know, it gets good sun and pretty good soil. But it’s very close to a maple tree on the north side.

I never had an exact diagnosis of those but it is usually bacterial spot or some other disease. The twig spots are very common in our area and mostly harmless, some of yours look worse but I think its because the wood itself was weak to begin with.

BTW the fact that Jim in your area is seeing a similar mortality on the buds means it was almost certainly a freeze event (or two or three).


Susu, I had disappointing results this year. I made the mistake last year of pruning my large peach trees mid-summer. They did not put on new growth which was reflected in less blooms. Combine that with a bad spring and I got less peaches than I should have. The one tree that I did not prune back mid-summer has 40 to 60 peaches. The other trees are not close. When you prune definitely affects yield.

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Susu - 4 Tablespoons of Urea does not seem like enough fertilizer. In past years I put 2 to 3 handfuls of 10-10-10 every 2 weeks or so through May or later. This year I am behind schedule and have done one dose of 36-0-0 for my trees. I thought I was over fertilizing but I never burnt a tree. I may have been generating to much growth but I prefer that to a stunted tree. We will see how the 36-0-0 works instead of 10-10-10. You are further north so you may not want to go to late on the fertilizer.

Susu, as I said, the peach tree that did not do so well was an Elberta, so that makes since for us. I was just out there today and confirmed that most of the buds died and probably about 20 survived.

This makes me feel better. I mean I’m sorry you are in the same situation. But I feel better knowing this is not all that unusual.
Spud daddy It’ll be interesting to see how your tree grows this year. I was worried about 4 tablespoon of urea burning the tree. I’m glad i can rule that out.

I wanted to give an update on this thread. Problem solved. I think. What I thought was a maple root running very close to the peach tree was actually a piece of maple branch that fell on the peach roots (we had few near by trees cut down couple of months ago) the log was strangling the peach tree I guess. As you can see in this pic It’s not even noticeable.

the tree guys did some damage to the lawn so they put topsoil and reseeded it. Instead of picking up the log they must’ve put topsoil on top of it. I had no idea.

The tree was in the same stage as two weeks ago. No growing whatsoever. I kinda knew I’m about to lose it so I dug around the roots to see if something was bothering it. I had seen this big root running across couple of weeks ago but I always thought it belonged to the maple tree. But I started to dig along the root and then it stopped! That’s when I realized it’s a log. I dug it out. Hopefully that was the problem peach twigs dried up and tree hasn’t grown in weeks. I lost all but 4 peaches this year. But hopefully tree will recover and give me loads of peaches next year!
This made my day.


My concern would be the mucky wet soil not the log. But maybe it just rained and this condition doesn’t last for long.


It is like that here right now too/ Lot’s and lot’s and a little more rain.

@Susu Here is a blossom blight canker, did/do the flowers look like this?

It does not look like it to me, but just to be sure. Also tips look bad when they die no matter what causes it too.

Oh I was so sure the log was the reason. Bummed to hear that you guys don’t think it might be it.
Drew: no goo sticky stuff on the twigs. Just plain driness.

That log must have damaged your peach roots to get there to begin with. It didn’t really need to be removed but it seems like the people moving the tree damaged your peach roots. The trunk damage also appears to be from that maple. I’m not sure if that is why your fruit dropped though as I find peaches hang onto their fruits even when on death’s door.

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The orientation of that log says to me they brought in heavy equipment (cherry picker?) very close to the tree and the log was squished into the ground under the tires/tracks after it was cut. The compaction around the roots could be pretty bad…


Roots can take a lot of disturbance without damaging the tree when they are dormant if even half of the roots are left alone. Trees are well adapted to adjust to root loss because it happens for various reasons frequently even during the growing season, most commonly drought renders much of the root system useless and in light soils this happens very quickly, killing feeder roots as new ones form where ever there is still moisture. Also moles and other ground rodents can destroy a lot of root soil contact in a hurry.

Generally root damage makes a tree increasingly fruitful.

However that is a nasty wound on the trunk- usually that would be OK but I can’t see how much the injury extends around the tree and I don’t know at what point that combined with the root damage could create enough shock to cause fruit drop- never seen it happen as a result of that kind of injury though.

What kind of copper did you spray with? Copper can be phytotoxic.

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I sprayed with copper octonate. Bottle says it can be sprayed during growing season without a problem. I was really hoping the problem was the log. At this point there’s nothing else I can do. It is not growing much. We’ll wait and see.