Nectarine Tree Diseases
The most common problem with nectarines is that they are susceptible to several types of fungal infections. These include the following:
1) Fusarium wilt – This fungus attacks the leaves and stems of the plant, causing them to turn yellow or brown.
Leaves may fall off completely, while other parts become stunted. Fruit becomes shriveled and soft. The affected plants die within two years, but new growth may survive.
2) Phytophthora cactorum – This disease affects the roots of the plant, killing them.
The infected root system eventually dies out, leaving only a few dead branches left behind. New growth remains green and healthy, however it will not bear fruit due to lack of nutrients.
3) Pythium spp.
– This fungal infection causes the fruit to rot before ripening. The fruit may drop from the tree altogether, or remain small and unripe. The fruit may even develop black spots on them. Fruit may still be eaten if properly stored, but eating too many at once could cause death.
4) Botrytis blight – This fungus infects the fruits of nectarines and causes their flesh to turn black and harden quickly.
The infected fruit may no longer be attached to the plant and fall to the ground.
5) Tip burn – This condition causes browning near the tip of the fruits.
It is generally not a fatal condition, but it will prevent people from eating the fruit and limit its marketability.
6) Cercospora – This condition causes dark brown patches on the skin and discoloration of the flesh.
These patches may be small or cover a large portion of the skin. The flesh will also look blotchy and darken as a whole.
7) Angular leaf spot – This condition results in brownish-yellow spots on the leaves.
The spots are angular and range in size from 1 to 3 millimeters across. As the spots expand they can cause the leaves to turn brown and die. The fruit will remain unaffected by the condition.
Nectarine trees can also be prone to several other common fungal diseases including anthracnose, charcoal rot and leaf spot. These fungal diseases will need to be treated as soon as they are noticed to prevent the tree from being overwhelmed and killed.
How To Prune A Nectarine Tree
It is important to know how to prune a nectarine tree in such a way that it benefits the plant. If you prune incorrectly it can be potentially fatal to the plant or at least cause it undue stress.
All nectarines grow on old wood as well as new wood. Old wood is defined as the wood that grew the previous year, while new wood is defined as the wood that is growing this year.
In terms of pruning, you should remove dead, broken or diseased branches as well as those that are crossed or rubbing against one another. These should be cut just above the point where they meet another branch or the trunk. Any smaller branches that are growing inward or at a wrong angle should also be removed. You can do this with pruning shears.
When it comes to branches that you want to keep, you need to think about how they will affect the overall shape of the tree and whether or not they are in the right position for the tree to grow in such a way that its fruit is easily accessible. If not, you will need to prune them in such a way as to affect this change.
For instance, if a branch is growing up and away from the rest of the tree then you should cut it back so that it begins to grow down and out towards the rest of the tree. If this is not done then the other branches will get more sunlight than this one, thus causing it to be weaker as it tries to compete with the other branches for nutrients and sunlight.
If you wish to create a horizontal branch, then you need to prune it back so that it begins to grow up towards the sky. This is done by cutting the branch back so that it is at a forty-five degree angle from the direction that it is currently pointing. It may be a good idea to prop up the branch with a stake and tie it in position with twine until the branch settles into its new position.
Once you have the basic shape of the tree that you want it is time to prune back all of the side branches. These will be the branches that are growing at odd angles and/or crossing one another. You should prune these back so that they are only growing from the area of branch that is closest to the main stem.
If you are wanting to keep a particular branch for any reason, then you need to prune the other branches back so that they only emerge from the main stem a couple of inches below where you want the new branch to begin.
In addition to pruning the tree in such a way that its fruit will be more accessible, there is also the issue of keeping the tree thinned out so that it doesn’t put all of its energy into a few major limbs. This will keep the tree healthy and ensure that it continues to bear a good crop of fruit.
One way that you can thin out the tree is to prune the limbs that are growing at a ninety degree angle from the main stem. You can either cut these back so they emerge from the main stem a foot or so above their current position or if they are very low on the tree, you can remove them entirely.
The other way that you can thin out the tree is to cut back the more major limbs so that there are only three or four that are emerging from the main stem. You should aim for having these emerge between the first set of ninety degree angles and the base of the tree.
As you do with any kind of pruning you should cut back down to just above a bud. This applies even when removing large branches entirely.
Once you have finished your pruning, if you notice any areas where new growth is about to emerge then you can smooth these out by cutting slanting cuts into the branch. This will cause them to beveled and not rub or poke the other branches.
If there are any water sprouts, these should be cut back to the first outward facing curve. This prevents them from choking out the rest of the tree.
Finally, you should apply a good layer of mulch around the base of the tree. This will help keep the moisture in the soil around the roots and also prevent weeds from growing around it which would steal away nutrients that the tree needs to grow strong and bear good fruit.
It will take a few years for your efforts to bear any fruit, but in time you will have a nice little pear tree that is easy to pick from and that has a good spread so it isn’t too hard to gather the fruit.
Strawberries are a nice little crop to grow. They take very little effort and you can get a lot from a small area. They are also very easy to pick so they are a great fruit to take with you while out and about.
To start off with you need to find a good spot to plant them. They will grow just about anywhere, but the further north you go the more protection they will need from the cold weather. They prefer to grow in slightly acidic soil that is on the loamy side.
If you are planting them in a garden bed, then it is best to set them aside for this one purpose as strawberries tend to take nutrients from the soil that other plants could be using. However, if you are setting aside a small area for them then it shouldn’t be a problem.
Strawberries produce runners just like tomato plants. These can be cut off and replanted to start new patches or just left to spread in a patch. It is best to plant them in clumps as this makes it easier to pick and take care of them.
You can also start them indoors about six weeks before you plan to plant them outside.
They should be planted about a foot apart and about a foot deep. If you are planting a large row then they should be about three feet apart with the rows five feet apart.
Once they are in the ground, mulch around the plants to help prevent weed growth and keep moisture in the soil.
Strawberries produce fruit over a very brief period of time. You may have to pick them every other day in order to make sure you have enough for eating and preserving.
An easy way to do this is to have two rows of plants. You can then alternate which row you harvest from so that they have a chance to keep producing. The other row will be allowed to remain unpicked for a few days before you start in on it.
You can also plant several different types of berries in the same patch. This creates a nice effect and makes it easy for you to take advantage of every square inch of growing space.
Cherries are a favorite treat for most people. Growing them in a large enough area can be quite the chore as the trees grow to be quite tall and wide. But growing them up on your own piece of land doesn’t require quite as much space and is still very productive.
You will want to find a good spot that gets full sun most of the day. The ground should be fertile and deep. The trees will need room to spread out and grow tall so at least ten to fifteen feet between the trees.
When you are planting your trees be careful that the graft or knot is at least a foot above the ground. It can be buried later on but it is best to let it heal from transplanting before doing any more work on it.
Water your trees well after they are in the ground. You can add a layer of mulch around the base to help hold in moisture.
These trees like most will benefit from a layer of fertilizer around the base starting a year after you put them in the ground. The fertilizer you use should have a three number sequence, such as 10-10-10. This means that it has equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Other types of fertilizer may be available, follow the directions on the bag as some are not for use on evergreens.
Prune your trees to allow for good air circulation and to keep them from growing too large for your space.
Topping a tree or cutting back the top is useful if you want the tree to put its energy into growing laterally rather than growing up. This can create a nice shade area beneath the tree.
Sources & references used in this article:
Location of prunus necrotic ringspot ilarvirus within pollen grains of infected nectarine trees: evidence from RT-PCR, dot-blot and in situ hybridisation by F Aparicio, MA Sánchez-Pina… – European Journal of …, 1999 – Springer
Effect of preharvest sprays containing calcium, magnesium and titanium on the quality of peaches and nectarines at harvest and during postharvest storage by M Serrano, D Martínez‐Romero… – Journal of the …, 2004 – Wiley Online Library
A Treatise on the Culture and Management of Fruit-Trees.. by W Forsyth – 1810 – books.google.com