What to do With Old Nectarine Trees

I get 3 nectarine/peach trees that I need to decide on what to do.

I recall I bought most of them at Lowe’s and some as end of season sales. Many years ago. One was a nectarine, one was a mislabeled nectarine (as peach) and the last is a peach tree that lost the graft. First nectarine is in good condition with a 3"-4" caliper. The 2nd nectarine has leaned to one side badly. The peach rootstock is still small.

The two nectarine trees get a lot of borers, probably fruit moth. I tried to spray, with little success.

All three occupy my prime real estate in full sun. I do have another peach tree that has been productive. All produce good spring peach blossoms that we like.

So my questions:

  1. Do I need to keep some trees to pollinate my last peach tree, which is the Jubilee?
  2. The large nectarine is good shape. Should I keep it and try to work it to be more productive?
  3. Same with the other nectarine. But I’ll have to right it since it is not easy to right a mature tree.
  4. Can I still graft the peach rootstock with a 1.5" caliper?

If I remove them, I’ll replant either jujube or persimmon. I have very bad cedar rust.

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Typically, cedar rust does not affect peach as much as it does apples.

  1. Your peach tree is young enough to graft on new cross pollinating varieties, if there are cedar trees nearby, frost free varieties would be the best choice to pollinate your peach.
  2. If the nectarines are varieties you like, you might try painting the trunks down to several inches below ground with a slurry of lime/sulphur. Prior to that you should try to use a small still wire to probe the trunks to attempt to remove and kill the borers, then apply the protective slurry.
  3. The leaning nectarine may be under the natural influence of the sun exposure, rather than trying to right it risking breaking it at the graft, you might consider a brace under the leaning side to prop up the tree preventing it from leaning further.
  4. If you decide to graft on new pollinating varieties to the peach, you might try several side grafts to better balance the top

Yes, I do not see cedar rust has much impact on Jubilee peach.

I did not even buy those nectarines. I like soft peach texture better than nectarines. So they are mainly landscape trees now. Hard to spray since they are large now.

I thought the fruit moth enter the small fruits from air. So I do not know what treating the trunks can counter that. I may want to research more on that.

I’ll do some research on grafting on tree that size. I probably want to remove at least the leaning nectarine rather working to right it.

All but a few peaches and nectarines are self pollinating. So that’s a non issue.

Peach/nectarine can be attacked by several types of borer. One type bores into the trunk near soil level. Another bores into the tips of new growth. Some of those, Oriential fruit moth, can also bore into the fruit. Peach twig borer mostly attacks new shoots.

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We all have the issue of the fruit borers in our area. Nickle sized fruits just drop off. Do not recall having any fruits over many years. I can’t spray the large trees.

The Jubilee peach is not affected at all. And NJ is known as a peach state.

Apricot and cherry are also not successful here. Apple are badly attacked by cedar rust.