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trees are allowed to remain without pruning, they become weak
and are likely to be attacked by the bark beetle, and, as a
result, will soon die.

40. Spring Frosts. — In general, the peach grower has
more to fear from spring frosts than from severe winter weather.
Warm weather in late winter may start the buds so early that
they are likely to open from 2 weeks to a month earlier than
normally. The buds are then in much danger of being destroyed
by spring frosts. Even in a normal season when the buds open
at the usual time, there is some danger from frost. When
the fruit buds of the peach are advanced far enough to show
the pink color, they can resist a temperature as low as 15® F. ;
when they are just ready to open, 25® F. is the danger point;
when they are actually in bloom, 26® to 28® F. is as low a temper-
ature as they are likely to withstand without injury. After
the peaches begin to form, a light frost will destroy them.

Altitude has an important influence on danger of frost injury
to peach buds. In low areas, as, for example, the coastal-plain
region along the Atlantic coast, the peach blooms earlier
than in higher altitudes in the same latitude. For this reason
peaches on low areas are more likely to be injured by spring
frosts than are those growing on high areas. Certain small
areas in peach districts are found that are very susceptible
to frost injury and, of course, should be avoided when selecting
a site for a peach orchard. In general, it may be said that
on accoimt of danger from this source, it is usually preferable
to plant peaches on fairly high lands.

The variety is often a factor in the amount of frost injtuy
done to peach buds. In some seasons there is a diflFerence of
from one to several days in the time of blooming of different
varieties of peaches. As a rule. Early Crawford, Mountain
Rose, Elberta, and Fox are early bloomers; Greensboro, Carman,
and Belle are classed as late bloomers. The Belle is especially

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late, often being as many as 5 days later than the early bloom-
ing varieties mentioned. If cool weather occurs just as the trees
are beginning to bloom, the difference is somewhat greater than
just mentioned; if the weather happens to be very warm there
will be less difference. In fact, all of the varieties may, by
excessively warm temperatures, be forced into bloom within a
few hours of each other.

Although there are some exceptions, the early varieties of
peaches are a little later in blooming than the mid-season and
late varieties. However, most of the early varieties have what
is known as the large type of bloom, and blooms of this type
do not generally expose the stamens and pistils as early as those
of the small and mediimi types. The selection of late-blooming
varieties for sections that are likely to have late spring frosts
is recommended and may be of marked value in preventing

Orchard heaters are used in many sections for the protec-
tion of the blossoms from spring frosts. The types of heaters
and manner of using them is the same as described for apples.
In orchards that are subject to loss from spring frosts the use
of heaters is strongly recommended.

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(PART 2)



1. Size for an Orchard. — ^When the establishment of a
peach orchard is being planned, the number of trees to plant
should be carefully considered. If the fruit can be disposed
of locally, the orchard may be of any size that suits the con-
venience of the owner, but if it will be necessary to ship the fruit
by rail or boat, even for a short distance, an orchard of 1,000
trees is as small as should be planted, as small shipments from
a few trees are likely to bring unsatisfactory returns; in other
words, the shipments should be large enough to attract the
attention of dealers who buy in large quantities. If the distance
to market is much greater than 300 miles, the orchard should be
comparatively large, say of about 10,000 trees. Growers
generally find that it is advantageous to ship their fruit in
carload lots, and in order to be able to do this, it is necessary
that an orchard of good size be planted.

2. In deciding on the size of orchard to plant, a grower
should consider the cost of equipment and the cost of main-
tenance. The amount of money required for these items will
vary considerably even in the same locality. For example,
many growers conduct some other line of agriculture along
with peach growing and thus are enabled to employ teams,



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tools, and other equipment for both lines of farming, thereby
cutting down the expense for each. Especially is this condition
true ioT orchards of only about 1,000 trees; in fact, it is seldom
that a grower gives his entire time and attention to an orchard
of this size.

3. The distance to market or to a shipping station and
the condition of the roads have an important bearing on
the team expense at harvest time. For example, from a cer-
tain orchard in New Jersey the roads are such that only 60
crates of peaches can be hauled at a load to the shipping sta-
tion, whereas from another orchard in the same state 116 crates
can be hauled.

4. Notwithstanding the preceding statements, a general
estimate of the cost of equipment and maintenance can be
given; but this, however, will require modification to suit indi-
vidual cases. For an orchard of 1,000 trees one team will be
needed. This will cost from about $300 to $600. A common
barrel-spray-pimip outfit that can be purchased for $25 or less
may be gotten along with, but a small pump moimted on a
100-gallon tank will be more satisfactory; this should not cost
more than $35. A disk harrow, a spring-tooth harrow, two
one-horse plows or one two-horse plow, hoes, pruning tools,
and other small articles will cost from $60 to $75. A packing
house suitable for accommodating the fruit from 1,000 trees
can be built for from about $150 to $200. Often, however,
there is some building on the farm that can be used as a pack-
ing house. The cost of the fruit package will depend on the
kind used and the size of the crop, and will be, for trees in full
bearing, from 30 cents to 75 cents a tree, or from $30 to $75
for 1.000 trees.

The maintenance cost for a 1,000-tree orchard is influenced
largely by the care given to the orchard and whether or
not the owner works in the orchard or simply directs his
laborers. The cost of fertilizing, pruning, spraying, and har-
vesting will be from 30 cents to 50 cents a tree, or from $30
to $50 for 1,000 trees.

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In addition to the expenses enumerated, many miscellaneous
costs are likely to be added. For example, it may be necessary
to hire an extra team for getting the fruit to market or to the
shipping station. These miscellaneous items will vary from
practically nothing to", say, $50 for the season.

5. From the preceding figures the estimated cost for equip-
ping and maintaining a 1,000-tree peach orchard is as follows:

Cost of Equipment Minimum Maximum

Team $300 $600

Spray outfit 25 35

Harrows, plows, etc 60 75

Packing house 200

Total $385 $910

Cost of Maintenance Minimum Maximum

Fertilizing, pruning^ spraying, and

harvesting $ 30 $ 50

Cost of packages 30 75

Miscellaneous items 50

Total $~60 $175

6. For an orchard of 10,000 trees at least two teams will
be required during the growing season and extra teams are likely
to be needed at picking time; in the latter case the teams can
usually be hired by the day. The cost of the two teams will
range from $600 to $1,200. A power spraying outfit will be
necessary for this size of orchard. One can be purchased for
from about $300 to $350. Harrows, plows, and pruning
equipment for a 10,000-tree orchard will cost from about $125
to $200. A packing house suitable for the proper handling of
the fruit from 10,000 trees will cost from about $600 to $800.
The cost for fruit packages will vary from $300 to $750, depend-
ing on the kind used and the size of the crop. The cost
of fertilizing, pruning, spraying, and harvesting may be esti-
mated at practically the same rate per tree as in the case of a
1,000-tree orchard; this will make the cost from $300 to $500.
The miscellaneous items will vary from, say, $100 to $500.

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7. From the figures just given the total cost for equipping
and maintaining a 10,000-tree orchard will be approximately
as follows:

Cost of Equipment Minimum Maximum

Teams $ 600 $1,200

Spray outfit 300 350

Harrows, plows, etc 125 200

Packing house _ 600 800

Total $1,625 $2,550

Cost ok Maintenance Minimum Maximum

Fertilizing, pruning, spraying, and

harvesting $ 300 $ 500

Cost of packages 300 750

Miscellaneous items 100 500

Total $~700 $1,750"

8. Selecting of the General Location for an Orchard.

The importance of selecting a favorable location for commercial
peach production can hardly be overemphasized, for on the
right choice of a location depends, in a large measure, the
success of an orchard. In general, it is advisable to locate a
commercial orchard in one of the recognized peach-growdng
districts, or at least where a large number of peaches are being
grown. In such regions there is likely to be an opportunity
to secure extra labor during harvesting time, whereas in regions
where but a relatively few peaches are grown, labor is difficult
to secure.

Climatic conditions, too, should be considered in the select-
ing of a location for a commercial peach orchard. Areas that
are subject to severe winter weather that is likely to cause
tree injury should be avoided. The same is true also of regions
that are subject to w^arm weather in late winter; this causes
the fruit buds to open so early that they are likely to be killed
by frost. Low areas that are subject to late spring frosts are
especially undesirable for.j^each production.

Another important point that should be considered in the
selecting of a location for a peach orchard is the nearness to
a good shipping station. Peaches are such a perishable product

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that they must be marketed quickly after being picked, and a
grower whose orchard is located a considerable distance from a
shipping station is likely to find himself handicapped for haul-
ing facilities. If a large ntmiber of peaches are shipped daily,
the matter of hauling to the station is an extremely important
one; this is especially true if the road is hilly, muddy, or very

The nearness of the shipping station to the market where
the fruit is to be sold is another factor that should be con-
^dered in the selecting of a location for commercial peach
growing. If fruit is hauled only a short distance it is likely
to arrive at the market in better condition than if it is hauled
a long distance. Then, too, when the distance is short a
grower is better able to keep in touch with a shipment imtil
the fruit is sold than where the distance is long. The most
important advantage of a short haul, however, is that the
freight rates are lower than for a long haul. For example, the
freight rate to New York from the Georgia peach district is
from 50 to 55 cents a carrier and that from points in New
Jersey that are within 100 miles of New York is only from
10 to 14 cents a carrier.

9. It is advantageous to have a peach orchard located
near a station where a large quantity of peaches is shipped
daily, for in this case the freight service is generally prompt,
regular, and efficient, and consequently the fruit will reach
the market at a time of day when it will sell for the best price.
For most markets, peaches should reach the market at, or
perhaps a little before, midnight. In New York City, for
example, the peach market opens soon after midnight, and the
best sales are made before 5 o'clock in the morning. By 7 or
8 o'clock in the morning, the business for the day is practically
over, and if a car of peaches should arrive after that time it
must be sold at a sacrifice or be held o\^r until the next morning,
in which case it will be in competition with fresh fruit that
arrives diuing the night. The diiference between early- and
late-arriving fruit is often as much as 25 cents a carrier or a box.
From points where perishable freight is being shipped regularly,

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the schedtiles are usixally arranged for prompt delivery early
in the night, and such stations are favorable ones from which
to ship peaches. Also, stations that have two or more railroads
by which shipments can be made to market are likely to be good
shipping points.

10» In selecting a location for a commercial peach orchard,
a grower should not overlook the advantages offered by a local
market. It is possible to find locations where there is a good
local market and at the same time good shipping facilities to
a distant market. Such locations may be regarded as ideal,
so far as the sale of the fruit is concerned, for any fruit that
becomes too ripe for distance shipment may be disposed of
locally. In addition, the local market will afford a means for
disposing of second-grade fruit, which can always be sold to
better advantage on a local market than on a distant market
where it must compete with first-class fruit. Large towns and
small cities often offer exceptionally good opportunities for a
local peach trade.

11. Selecting of the Site for an Orchai*d. — ^The select-
ing of the site for an orchard involves a consideration of the
soil and the exposure, or lay, of the land. The peach can be
made to grow well on a variety of soils, provided they are well
drained, and in some sections, properly irrigated. Perhaps the
ideal soil for a peach orchard is a deep, well-drained, sandy
loam. The peach does well also on rather light sandy soils
if there is a retentive soil strata a foot or so below the surface.
Stony loams also, if they are well drained, are acceptable for
peach growing. Heavy, poorly drained soils should be avoided.

12. The importance of the exposure of peach orchard sites
has in the past been somewhat overemphasized. In a level or
slightly rolling country the exposure is of little importance,
except that low-lying areas, or pockets, should be avoided on
account of the likelihood of the fruit in such places being
destroyed by spring frosts. In a decidedly hilly country it is
advisable to avoid sites that are exposed to severe prevailing
winds, and also sheltered spots with a southern exposure, where
fruit buds would be likely to make too early a development.

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A good rule to follow in a hilly region is to choose a site that is
somewhat above the general level of the surrounding land, where
air drainage is good and there is sufficient area to allow of the
orchard being laid out as desired. Exceedingly high areas
and steep hillsides are not desirable for peach growing, as the
cost of cultivation and harvesting in such places is likely to
be excessive. Also, low land in hilly regions should be avoided,
on accoxmt of the danger of frost injury to the buds in spring.


13. The choice of varieties for planting is of prime import-
ance to peach orchardists. Naturally, the varieties grown
should be adapted to the locality. It would be well, therefore,
for a prospective grower to learn from other growers what
varieties are giving the best satisfaction in the particular region
under consideration. For a commercial orchard the varieties
should be those demanded by the market where the fruit is
sold; if the fruit is to be shipped a long distance, varieties that
stand shipment well should be planted. For a home orchard
or an orchard from which fruit will be sold locally, it is not, of
course, necessary to pay much attention to the shipping quali-
ties of a variety, but the varieties planted must be adapted to
the district and all be of the kinds desired on the local market.


14. Unless a grower is making plantings every year, it will
generally prove to be more economical to purchase yoimg trees
of a reliable nurseryman than to propagate them at home;
if plantings are made each year, however, home propagation of
the trees will often be advantageous. An advantage claimed
for home-grown trees is that the propagator may be sure that
they are of the variety or varieties desired, whereas, if the trees
are procured from a nursery it is possible that a mistake may
be made or that the niu"seryman may intentionally attempt
to dispose of surplus stock imder the guise of a fictitious name.

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Another advantage of home-grown trees is that the yxning
stock is on the ground ready for planting as soon as it has
reached the proper age.


15. The peach is propagated by budding. Seedlings are
grown from pits, the young trees being budded when of the
proper size with buds taken from trees of the desired variety.

16. Methods of Growing Seedlings. — It is recommended
that the pits from which the seedlings are grown be obtained
from natural seedling trees. However, the supply of natural-
seedling pits is rather limited and often not equal to the
demand. Tennessee and North Carolina are the largest pro-
ducers of these pits. It is thought that, as a rule, seedlings
grown from the pits of cultivated varieties are not so hardy
for budding as those grown from natiual-seedling pits. In
view of the fact that the supply of natural seedling pits is so
limited, however, it may be necessary in the futtire to give
attention to the production of pits from cultivated varieties
for the growing of seedlings. It has been suggested by some
growers that the pits of some of the hardiest varieties would
be satisfactory for the purpose, and this is probably true.
Often pits from the refuse of canneries are sold as natural-
seedling pits, and as they may be from varieties that are not
hardy, they should be guarded against.

Nurser}Tnen usually secure pits just at the close of the
peach-ripening season. These are either stratified and planted
the following spring, or they are planted directly in the nursery
rows in early summer or late fall.

When pits are to be stratified, an area is selected in a well-
drained cultivated spot, the soil is removed to a depth of from
4 to 6 inches, and a layer of pits not exceeding an inch or two
in dei)th is placed in the bottom of the area. About an inch
of soil is placed over the layer of pits, then a second layer of
pits is added, and over this is placed a layer of soil. The last
layer of pits may be above the general soil level, but the area
of stratified pits should be level, as otherwise the soil may

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become dry. If conditions are favorable the pits keep moist
and the action of the frost during the winter breaks the outer
shells at the suture. In the spring the pits are dug up and the
kernels are separated from the shells. Any pits that have not
been opened by the frost are cracked with a hammer.

After the kernels have been removed from the shells they are
ready for planting in the nursery. A peach nursery should be
located on rich, weU-drained loam, and be distant from any
orchard containing trees aflfected with yellows, little peach,
or other such diseases. As soon as the soil is dry enough in
the spring, the area should be plowed and harrowed and ftu*-
rows made to receive the kernels. Nursery rows are generaUy
made from 3 to 4 feet apart; the pits are dropped from 2 to
3 inches apart in the row, and are covered with from 2 to 3 inches
of soil. This distance apart in the rpws allows for a thinning
of the trees, as the young seedlings should not stand closer than
6 inches when they are 1 year old. Trees too close together in
nursery rows are likely to be light and spindling and hence

In case the pits are to be planted directly in the nursery
row — ^without being stratified — ^the planting is done in late
summer or early fall in the same manner as explained for kernels
from stratified pits, except that closer planting in the row is
generally practiced;' the reason for this is that the frost may fail
to open all of the pits and as a result many may fail to grow.

Th'e young seedlings, whether from stratified pits or from
those planted directly in the rows, should receive thorough
and frequent cultivation from the time they appear above
ground tmtil about the first of August, when cultivation should
be discontinued. At this time the yotmg seedlings are ready
for budding; they should be from i to i inch in diameter 3 inches
above the ground.

17. Budding of Peacli Seedlings. — ^Peach seedlings are
usually budded in August, the work being delayed until this
time in order that the buds shall not make much growth before
the next spring, as any new growth would likely be killed
during the winter by freezing. The budding should not be

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delayed, however, until the trees have stopped growth for the
season, as the bark at this time will not slip well and a bud,
if inserted, would likely fail to unite with the stalk on which
it was placed.

Nurserymen generally cut buds from nursery trees that were
budded the previous season. This practice, commonly known
as budding from nursery row to nursery row, has come into
rather general vogue since the introduction of the San ]os6
scale, ntu-serymen preferring to take buds from niirsery trees
rather than from orchard trees, as they are more likely to be
free from scale. Besides, the procuring of buds from nursery
trees is convenient and does away with the necessity of main-
taining an orchard for propagating purposes. Most author-
ities agree, howevfcr, that it is best to secure buds from
bearing trees, and many of the larger peach nurseries
are establishing orchards from which to secure buds for

The method used in budding trees has already been described
in a previous Section. The spring following the budding the
tops of the seedling trees are cut oflf just above the inserted
bud. Other buds on the seedling stock will start into growth
and must be rubbed off and only the desired bud allowed to
grow. Thorough and frequent cultivation should be given to
the trees during the summer. In the fall or the following spring
they are ready to be sold as 1-year-old trees, nurserymen com-
puting the age of a tree from the time it was budded.

In the Southern States June budding is sometimes practiced
by nurserymen when there is a shortage of any variety and
when they wish to secure trees in the shortest possible time.
When this is done the budded trees are offered for sale in the
fall or the following spring and are known as June buds. For
average conditions, 1 -year-old trees are to be preferred to Jime
buds, and for this reason the practice of June budding is grad-
ually being discontinued except in cases of special demand for

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18. Ordering of Trees. — If a grower desires to procure
trees from a nursery rather than to propagate them himself,
he should secure the name of some reliable nurseryman and
write to him several months in advance of the time the trees
are wanted, in order to ascertain whether an order for trees
of the variety and grade desired can be filled. This method
of procedure is of advantage to the grower, as the nurseryman
will be compelled to state whether or not he is in position to
furnish the kiod of trees wanted. If a large number of trees
are to be purchased, it is a good plan to request sample trees
and prices on the grade of tree submitted. Often, too, it is an
advantage for a grower to visit the nursery and personally
select the trees desired.

It makes but little difference whether trees have been prop-
agated in a local nursery or at a considerable distance north
or south of the place where they are to be planted, provided
they are healthy and have been well grown and have not been
allowed to start into growth before being shipped. If yellows
or little peach or other serious diseases are known to occur
in the vicinity of a nursery it is well to order elsewhere.

Online LibraryInternational Correspondence SchoolsPeach culture: plum culture; grape culture; strawberries; raspberries ... → online text (page 4 of 35)