- Author: Marcy Sousa
Q: Last summer my peach tree produced A LOT of fruit, but they were all really small in size. What can I do this year to get bigger fruit?
Thinning is typically done from early April (for early-ripening fruit) to mid-May (for late-ripening fruit). The best time to thin fruit is when they are about 3/4 inch in diameter. If you thin too early, it's hard to see all the fruit. But if you wait too long to thin, the effect on large fruit size will be reduced.
Peaches and nectarines should be thinned to about 5 to 7 inches apart along the branch. Apricots, plums, and apricot-plum hybrid varieties are generally smaller, so they can be spaced closer together. Thin apricots and apriums to 3 to 5 inches apart on the branch and thin plums and pluots slightly farther apart, to about 4 to 6 inches apart.
Although thinning reduces the number of fruit and total yield, it improves the size and quality of fruit. To read more about fruit thinning, click on the link: Fruit Trees: Thinning Young Fruit (ucdavis.edu).