Q. Can you help me resolve a problem that has developed with my two peach trees? They are now giving reasonably good quantity and good size fruit, but the problem that has developed is that the fruit drops before it is ripe. Is there anything that can be done to help the tree hold on to the fruit until maturity?
A. Peach trees regularly thin themselves out before ripening occurs; if this didn't happen the peach’s branches would break under the weight of the ripening fruit. In fact, when the peach starts to show signs of fruit dropping (it's starting to self thin) it isn't a bad idea to water the tree heavily and then, the next day, shake the main trunk gently but rapidly to thin out the juvenile peaches before they get too big and pose a risk of collapsing the branches that bear them.