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Thinning fruits - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Thinning fruits

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The peaches actually look pretty good so far this year! Yes, many fruit trees such as peaches, apples and pears set a ton of fruit each year. This time of year you get a natural occurrence called June drop where the fruit trees will drop some of the fruits. But they don't drop enough fruit, so believe it or not, you actually have to thin your young fruits.

It's counterintuitive and it breaks people's hearts to remove young fruits, but if you don't thin your peaches, apples and pears you get too many fruits forming. The fruits will be small and not very good quality. And, in fact, if you have so much fruit, they can actually break the branch because it becomes so heavy. You also get alternate bearing on the tree, where the tree bears a lot of fruit one year and none the second year. So you need to thin them.

For a peach tree, thin fruits so there is about 6 inches between the peaches. You're going to twist and take off many of the fruits per branch, so you have about 6 inches between those peaches. The remaining fruits will get nice and big and they'll have less disease and insect problems.

Now for apples and pears, you don't want them touching. You'll see they form in clusters. So snip off one of the fruits in the cluster. For plums, space to about 4 inches apart, but for cherries, you don't have to do anything. Just leave and enjoy them.

By Charlie Nardozzi

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