I have a 6 year old Tex-King peach tree that was in bloom when the icestorm hit Texas. I had covered most of the branches but that only provided a little protection.
After the storm, it started to leaf out so I thought everything was fine. However, recently it looks like some of the major branches are dead, the leafing out has stalled, and it is sending up tons of shoots from the rootstock, probably 10-20 per week as I cut them off.
Should I cut off the branches that appear to be dead? Is there a way to know for sure if the branch is dead? What can I do to make sure that it is sending energy up to the rest of the tree rather than shooting from the rootstock?
Thanks for your help!
Scratch the bark. If you see green underneath, it is alive. If not- prune the branch.
Thanks. Will the pruning address the rootstock issue?
keep cutting off the suckers. As long as there is life in the upper tree, by cutting off the suckers you will force the energy back up to the top. Given how badly the tree was shaken, it is going to try and regrow the easiest way possible, by sending up new shoots from the roots (not what we want). I had three peach trees in a similar situation (flowers hadn’t bloomed but were days away) and I have a lot of top death. I am just focusing on cutting out the bottom suckers and making sure that the top is still alive. If anyone else has better advice, I am all ears!
Your tree has serious winter cold damage to the cambium. I have several trees doing the same as yours. This may help explain.
Thanks, everyone. The PDF shows exactly some of the things I’ve seen with my tree. I had pruned it fairly significantly the year before so I’m worried about the heavy pruning that will be required for the branches that appear to be dead now.