Evaluating Fruit Tree Buds Following Freezing Weather

Penn State University has distributed information from fruit specialist Jim Schupp regarding how to asses fruit tree health following the recent freezing weather:  Peach Bud Survival – Compare the number of live buds to the number a fruiting lateral should carry based on the target yield per acreimage014

  1. To get a good estimate, examine about 150 to 200 flower buds per variety per block.
  2. Collect one strong fruiting lateral (pencil thick and 24 to 32 inches long) from each of two sides of 5 representative trees per block.
  3. Bring the fruiting laterals into a heated building, place them in buckets of water, and allow them to warm up.
  4. Count and record the total number of flowers and unopened buds on a branch.
  5. Examine the ovule in the center of each flower, and count the number that are healthy.
  6. Compare this number per fruiting lateral to your desired crop load. If, for example, you have 12 live flower buds on a fruiting lateral that should carry 3 peaches at harvest, then you have four times as many live flower buds as are required for a full crop.

More info can be found at:  http://extension.psu.edu/plants/tree-fruit/news/2014/grab-some-buds

NFG 4/7/2016