Peach-Nectarine Management

The primary goal in peach and nectarine production should be to develop a tree canopy that is efficient at capturing sunlight and uses the energy of sunlight to produce fruit.

Since an orchard system integrates many factors, this manual deals with tree density, interception and distribution of sunlight in fruit trees,
crop loading, thinning, fruit quality, tree nutrition and wind.

Knowledge of the fundamentals of light interception and the influence of shade, the variety’s growth and fruiting habits, pruning and training, provide a basis for choice of tree size, shape and spacing, time and degree of pruning and training system for optimum production and efficiency.


PeachNectarine orchardMngt 07 2021

  • The manual has 55 pages of information, photos and illustrations.
  • File size is 2.3 Mb
  • Updated July 2021

List of topics

  • Importance of sunlight
    • light interception
    • light distribution
  • Wind can be a problem
  • Heading vs thinning cuts
  • The four-finger cut
  • Maintain a balanced tree structure the 3:1 rule
  • Maximise fruit quality:
    • colour
    • size
    • thinning
  • Grow large fruit 
    • cropping potential (fruit/cm trunk circumference)
    • pruning
    • calculate cropping potential
    • Growth pattern of peaches and nectarines
    • Cincturing to improve fruit size and advance maturity
    • Hand thin flowers to increase fruit size
      • Hints to improve hand thinning
      • chemical thinning
      • mechanical thinning
      • grow laterals this season to get a crop next year
    • Growing cling peaches for the cannery
    • Thinning cling peaches for the cannery
      • determining fruit size 
  • What causes stones to split & gum?
    • how to avoid stones from splitting
    • what causes fruit to gum?
  • What Nitrogen does to fruit
    • when to apply N fertiliser
    • how much N to apply
    • do not ignore trace elements
  • What happens to trees after harvest
    • making sure trees go into winter with plenty of stored carbohydrates and nitrogen
  • How useful is a Soil test
    • don't rely only on soil tests
    • soil tests can be misleading
    • benefits of leaf and sap analysis
  • Soil organic matter
    • why is it important
    • what is it, where does it come from
    • relationship with soil organic carbon
    • amount in the soil
    • organic matter and supply of nutrients and soil stability
    • how to increase organic matter in the soil
  • Crown Gall
    • facts
    • control
  • Winter chill for breaking dormancy
    • chilling requirement
    • minimise the risk
    • tree response to chilling


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