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It’s time to thin developing peach fruit

It’s time to thin developing peach fruit

Peach trees are notorious over producers. Meaning that they produce more fruit per branch then they can support.  Florida Prince Peach trees (photos) are no exception.

Not thinning peach tree fruit can lead to several problems:

  • The weight of excessive fruit can and will break off branches
  • The excess fruit may drain and weaken the tree leading to disease.
  • The tree may be forced into alternative year fruiting.
  • The crowded fruit will be smaller and may be less tasty.
  • Therefore, it is important to thin the fruit.
Pre Thin Peaches

Developing Florida Prince Peaches before thinning of the fruit


What is thinning the fruit?

Thinning peach tree fruit simply means removing some of the developing fruit from the branches.

Post Thin Peach

Same branch just after thinning of the fruit

When do I thin the fruit?

Basically in spring.  The earlier that you do this in the growing season the better.


How to thin the fruit?

  • There are several ways to thin the fruit.  For me, I first remove the smallest fruit, fused fruit or malformed fruit.   I then remove additional developing fruit to the point where the remaining fruit on the branches have some space between them and are no longer touching each other.
  • The goal is to have just a few fruit per branch or spur.
  • I find that twisting/spinning the developing fruit is the least traumatic way to remove them.
  • In a few months you will be ready to enjoy some awesome homegrown fruit.

About Thomas Osborne, MD

Dr. Osborne is a Harvard trained Radiologist and Neuroradiologist who loves to share his insight about medicine and gardening.


  1. Hi Tom, Just had a random thought. Perhaps we could have a section on gardening activities by the month. I know it varies a bit by region. For example San Diego will experience summer before we do in San Jose. But nevertheless, I would be willing to share the activities that I perform month by month so we can compile a Farmer’s Almanac of sorts. Then others in the San Jose area can chime in and augment and amplify the list. For example, last month I was busy spraying my fruit trees with copper bonide sollution to prevent peach leaf curl and other diseases. I also sprayed against Aphids. I removed weeds before they established their long tap roots. I fertilized the lawn. I pruned the Apricot, Almond, Plum and especially Peach trees. I put down tons of Fertilizer and Miracle Grow all around the fruit trees and the over 100 rose bushes. Phew! This month I am taking it easier. So far I have repaired a few leaky sprinklers which the mow and blow guys damaged as they rushed through. I also planted a Red Baron Peach, a Hale Haven peach, a Black Tartarian Cherry and 2 dozen geraniums in 10 flower beds encircling the swimming pool, and the front drive way. OK, I’ll stop now. What do you think of the idea Tom?

    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hey Sateesh.
      I like your idea a lot.
      The key would be how to present the material in a way that is organized and complete but also fit into the format of the website.
      For example, if I was looking for that material, I might want to have a single document to reference.
      I will have to give it a think.
      Let me know if you have any thoughts on the format/user interface of this side option.


      • Tom, For cataloging presentation purposes, perhaps a month-by-month page would be handy. So going to February, one could read all the tips that people found helpful to do at that time of the year. For example, prune the peaches, or fertilize the lawns, or spray against peach leaf curl. Then for March, April, etc. So that gardeners would get a to-do list of the kind of tasks that other gardeners are doing at that time of the year and thus plan their week, month, etc. By providing the framework of Month, you would encourage contributors to put them in the right place without you having to compile or edit sections. This would enhance your site to provide Fruit tree info and Timely info. The Timely info may be expanded to indicate what is blooming at that time. For example, because of the early spring, we had Almonds bloom in Jan, Apricots and Plums in early Feb, Peaches in mid to late Feb, and Apples in late Feb. This would enable gardeners to plan their planting of fruit trees in a new garden to ensure that something is blooming year around. Just a few thoughts 😉

        • Thomas Osborne, MD

          Hey Sateesh
          That sounds like a great idea.
          I will just have to go in on the back-end of this website and work out a way to present the material in a menu format that makes sense.

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