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Aug 032012

Please note: peaches and nectarines are quarantined by the Idaho Department of Agriculture to prevent the introduction of diseases. Except for the fruit, no plant parts can be imported into Idaho from certain places in the united States unless they have been grown in a disease-free area and are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. Homeowners should purchase their peach and nectarine trees at nurseries in Idaho.

Nectarines are simply fuzzless peach varieties. Mature trees grow to about 20 feet tall, but can be kept smaller with pruning and training. The trees bear fruit three to four years after planting. Peaches and nectarines are generally poorly adapted to northern, central, and eastern Idaho growing conditions. The trees are sensitive to freezing injury and can be injured or killed at temperatures around -10 to -15°F. Peaches and nectarines also bloom very early in the spring and the flowers are easily damaged by frost.

Varieties of both crops are usually grafted onto seeding rootstocks. Special rootstocks are available, but seldom necessary in Idaho. The trees are naturally small and you can control the size by careful pruning. Peaches and nectarines require well drained, light-textured soil that is neutral to slightly acid. Neither crop tolerates poorly-drained soils well and iron chlorosis develops quickly on soils with pH above 7.0.

Peaches are self-fruitful, as are most nectarines, so you only need to plant one tree or cultivar.

 August 3, 2012