so sad to have to take down the peach tree that was killed by the brutal winter before last.
you see that face? that’s odin’s fake smile because at this point he’s not exactly super happy to be helping me.
but lo – we did it – stump and all! and in relatively short order. while it’s a bummer to have to take her down, we’re planting one to replace her.
the winter before last took a huge toll on our peach tree ( the one that taught me The Transformative Power of A Real Peach ( and a little heavy whipping cream ) ) and last summer we didn’t get any fruit but the tree had a few dozen leaves on it so we thought maybe, just maybe, it needed to take a rest. But spring has sprung and I’m not seeing any buds at all. boooooooo.
we thought maybe peach tree was dead but were holding out hope that the appearance of a few leaves meant the core tree was still alive.
a fruit tree expert recommended i do scratch test to see if it was really alive. what’s the scratch test ( i didn’t know either )? you scratch a bit of the bark and look for greenish hued living tissue that is the vascular cambium. dry, brittle, and brown cambium means the tree is dead.
unfortunately, i don’t see any green.
any thoughts from the arborists in the audience? am i doing the scratch test correctly?
seven years ago for mother’s day i planted a peach tree and it gave us many stories, including balloon peach decoys, The Great Peach Harvest, The Transformative Power of A Real Peach ( and a little heavy whipping cream ) and peaches and cream ice cream.
but alas, the brutal winter seems to have taken a toll on the peach tree and save for a few leaves on one branch, the tree appears to be dead.
such a big, big, big drag. i was really looking forward to some peaches and and heavy whipping cream ;-(
three years after planting it, and despite the best attempts of peach leaf curl and squirrels to thwart harvesting, it looks like we *might* get some fresh peaches this year!
hopefully, in the coming weeks, i’ll get to see if a fresh picked peach will break me of my general disdain for peaches which i developed from eating canned versions of the fruit in my younger days.
fascinating new research ( via an over-the-top report by the bbc, scientific american gives a more balanced treatment ) shows that while plants don’t have memory or thoughts or intelligence as we know it, they’re still pretty smart and have evolved to use light to encode “memories” to help fight against pathogens:
“[So the plant] has a specific memory for the light which builds its immunity against pathogens, and it can adjust to varying light conditions.”
“Plants perform a sort of biological light computation, using information contained in the light to immunise themselves against diseases”
and who knows just what else it might encode?
last year our peach tree developed a fungal disease known as leaf curl which causes the leaves to become discolored and eventually the characteristically curled in a gnarly manner. infected leaves fall early and typically fruit will drop early too which means no harvest for the year.
my understanding is that treatment involves spraying an organic copper fungicide known as bordeaux mixture on the branches in late fall or early spring before buds swell. early this spring, hoping to avoid mixing my own batch ofbordeaux mixture, i applied “bordeaux modern replacement” from bonide.
but alas, it appears that leaf curl has once again infected the tree.
any advice on how to prevent leaf curl is mightily appreciated.