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Stone fruit - stay or go?

Deborah Oslik

Peach tree in our food forest. Prunus persica. Mid Pride Peach. Durazno.

We have gone back and forth about whether or not keep our peach tree in the ground as part of our food forest. This past year, the fruits produced were teeny tiny and not very juicy or matured. Probably a result of a longer, hotter, drier summer/fall and not enough water and shade to meet it's needs. Although we have wondered if maybe it is something else. Could its roots be bound? Could the nearby mesquite be sucking water from right under it's roots? Are its chill hours not being met? Or is there another deficiency we are not identifiying? Regardless, it is planted quite close to the fig and pomegranite and from the perspective of accessibility and space for these different plants to grow and mature, we are considering removing it. Another consideration is the re-evaluation of our Living Lab water budget and as the climate continues to change, and the periods of extreme temperatures carry on, keeping these non-native species thriving while also keeping water in the tank is a balancing act. But it is certainly a hard decision to make to remove a tree period, especially when it is showing off its beautiful pink flowers!