Full text: Peach culture in California

tree is making a good growth, two fruit buds and a leaf bud at a node 
are likely to be common (fig. 3), while with trees making a weak 
growth fruit buds are generally single. Their position upon the twig 
is largely dependent upon the growth of the tree and the habit of the 
particular variety. A tree growing moderately, normally forms the 
fruit buds from the middle portion toward the tip of the season’s 
growth. Trees making a rank growth are likely to produce few, and 
scattering fruit buds near the tip of the season’s growth. The forma- 
tion of fruit buds on the peach seems to be encouraged by a moderate 
growth of the twigs. 
Varietal Characteristics —It is important to know the habits of the 
particular variety to be pruned. Generally, most varieties with a 
moderate growth have their flowers well distributed, such as, Alex- 
ander, Early Crawford, Elberta, Lemon Cling, Lovell, and Muir. A 
few, however, like the Phillips and Tuscan (Tuskena) tend to bear 
their fruit buds near the tips of the season’s growth. Removal of the 
puter portion of the season’s growth in varieties like the latter may. 
therefore, reduce the crop. 
Methods of Shaping. —Many California growers use the open-center 
type of tree, modifying it according to their particular ideas. In this 
type of pruning the main branches arising from the trunk are allowed 
to grow more or less freely and the center of the tree is kept suffi- 
ciently open to admit light, but enough shade is left to avoid sunburn- 
ing of the branches. 
First Summer’s Pruning.—In April or early May of the first grow- 
ing season unnecessary growth may be thinned out. If not already 
selected, three limbs for the framework as previously discussed may be 
chosen. Pinch off the tips of the undesirable shoots permitting a few 
leaves to remain to help shade the trunk and to contribute plant food 
to the tree. The trees may be gone over again in about six weeks to 
suppress subsequent undesirable growth. Unless this summer pruning 
is intelligently and carefully done early in the season, preferably by 
the grower himself, it will not generally accomplish the desired results 
and the purpose may be defeated. 
First Dormant Pruning. ~The first dormant pruning will depend 
upon the previous pruning and the growth the tree has made. In 
most cases there will be some secondary branching on the main limbs. 
Each main branch should have two well placed secondary branches. 
The main limbs may be cut back lightly above the secondary branch- 
ing. Moderate rather than severe pruning will induce less excessive 
wood growth. -

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