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I have a big peach tree in front of my house, the first 2 years I was here it bore fruit but the last couple summers it hasn't. Is there something I need to do to get it to bear fruit again?

Edit:

The tree hasn't produced in 2 years, I live in west Michigan and the last few years have been rather odd in that we get 1 week of summer (80-90 degrees) followed by a week or so of spring again (40-60 degrees) I have noticed flowering generally at the top of the tree during the 1 week, which don't come to anything over the "real" summer. The rest of the tree is bare, no leaves, no flowering nothing.

I don't know how long the tree has been there, it may have been planted when the house was built (1994) which would make it an old tree but I'm not sure about that. It is about as tall as the house (1.5 story above ground) I don't know if that is "big".

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Do you have birds or wind to help pollination? Did you give him fertilizer? –  lamwaiman1988 Jun 23 '11 at 6:27
    
Have you been pruning it? –  bstpierre Jun 23 '11 at 11:47
    
Is it producing flowers? Late frosts or pests can damage flowers which will result in no fruit. –  Shanna Jun 23 '11 at 12:07
    
There are birds and squirrels, but I don't know of any other peach trees to get pollinated from. I'm supposed to prune? This year it only flowered at the very top during a false summer and has since gone bare :( –  Aaron Jun 24 '11 at 23:07
    
@Aaron Can you please post a photo or two of the tree... –  Mike Perry Oct 20 '11 at 14:40
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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

From this eHow:

If the tree is "big" it may be old and nearing the end of it's growing cycle / life.

Generally, peach trees live from 10 to 20 years. According to a team of Texas A&M University horticulturalists, peach trees begin producing fruit in their third season and continue producing a viable commercial crop for nine to 12 seasons, or until the trees reach age 12 to 15. Peach trees do not suddenly stop producing fruit once they reach old age, but produce gradually reduced harvests over a few years before production stops altogether and the trees die.

OR

Your tree is under attack.

Peach trees face various problems that may stop fruit production. A number of insects, including peach tree borers, Japanese beetles, stink bugs, oriental fruit moths, plum curculio, tarnished plant bug, green June beetle and European red mite affect peach trees. Severe infestations impede fruit production and, in extreme cases, kill trees. Diseases such as peach leaf curl, brown rot and scab, bacterial spot and powdery mildew do the same.

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I've edited the original post to expand on some of the points you have made here. I don't know if the tree is old but it is quite possible. Is there any way I can check for the issues you mention? –  Aaron Jun 24 '11 at 23:06
    
After reading the eHow I may just have a old/dying tree... that's a bummer. –  Aaron Jun 24 '11 at 23:09
    
that sucks, sorry to hear =( –  Seanland Jun 25 '11 at 1:07
    
You can find evidence of borers under the bark of a dead section of a tree, but the other insects are all destructive of fruit or leaves. For details , look up the Midwest Fruit Tree Pest Guide. –  Erik Olson Oct 20 '11 at 7:07
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Peaches bear fruit on last year's growth. So pruning is essential.

Worse, no leaves = no food for new growth. The erratic spring in the past two years might prevent pollination, but not leaves.

You could try pruning up to 1/3 of the tree in April. You can take out dead wood immediately. Unless you see some sprouts next year, it's dead. On the plus side, when you cut it down you can find out for certain how old it is.

Like other stone fruits, an open vase pattern of pruning and training is commmonly used. But you can also prune a peach to a central leader (Christmas Tree) system.

I'd look for a University Extension bulletin about growing peaches in your area. For a start, check out Michigan Peach.org. Some pictures of the open vase pruning guide can be seen in this Guide to growing stone fruits in Wisconsin.

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