Peach trees, Prunus persica, produce edible fruits that have a sweet, juicy flavor. Amateur and professional gardeners alike grow peach trees to enjoy the fruits, but problems may prevent this practice. If fruit begins to start rotting on the tree, it could be a sign of potentially severe problems.
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When peach fruits fall off the tree on their own, it may appear that the fruit is rotting. Sometimes, however, peaches naturally drop from the tree on their own. Peach trees may produce more fruits than they can actually support, and green fruits may fall well before ripening. Older fruits may become too heavy for the tree to support, snapping right off the ends of the branches. Thin trees by hand, spacing fruits 6 to 8 inches apart, to avoid these symptoms.
Brown rot affects peach fruits just before they are ready to be harvested. High temperatures in July and humid weather contribute to brown rot, a fungal disease. Brown rot will cause fruit to begin rotting, which renders it inedible. All fruits affected by brown rot should be harvested and thrown away immediately, to prevent further spread of the disease. Treat brown rot with fungicide to treat and prevent brown rot.
Ripe fruit rot appears on peach fruits as brown or black legions. As the name implies, ripe fruit rot strikes fruits that are ripe or very close to ripeness while they are still on the peach tree. Ripe fruit rot causes fruit to become soft and moist, often filled with white and black fungus. The fungus poses a greater risk to trees that are already unhealthy due to blight, weather or improper cultivation. Keep trees healthy and well pruned to prevent fruit rot.
Peach scab is another fungal disease that poses a threat to peach trees. While peach scab does not cause fruit to rot, the symptoms of the disease make it appear otherwise. Peach scab creates black spots on fruit, which eventually spread. The skin of the fruit may crack as the disease spreads. Prevent peach scab by keeping trees pruned and thinned, which encourages air flow.