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Nectarine tree, how to grow nectarines

Nectarine tree

The nectarine tree belongs to the same family as the peach tree, but without fuzz.

A summary of nectarine tree facts

NamePrunus Persica nucipersica
Family – Rosaceae
Type – fruit tree

Height – 6 ½ to 16 feet (2 to 5 meters)
Climate – temperate and warm
Exposure – full sun

Soil: ordinary, well drained   –   Foliage: deciduous  –  Harvest: summer

It is an exceptional fruit tree that calls for special care before harvesting. Planting, pruning and treating is important to avoid diseases for your nectarine tree.

Planting a nectarine tree

Our recommendation is to plant your nectarine tree in a sunlit and wind-sheltered spot so that dominant winds don’t sweep through.

Once the spot is chosen, plant your nectarine tree in fall or in spring.

  • Prepare a blend of soil mix and garden soil, which will make the soil lighter and add nutrients that the tree needs to grow well.
  • If your soil is clay and loamy, add about ⅓ sand to your blend of earth and soil mix.
  • Spread mulch to protect it from frost spells in winter, and it also adds organic matter and avoids weed growth.

The nectarine tree is more hardy than one thinks, since it can resist temperatures as cold as 5° to -4°F (-15 to -20°C).

Pruning, and caring for your nectarine tree

Large, well-pruned nectarine treeNectarine tends to not have apical dominance, which means that after pruning, it will sprout new shoots from the base rather than from the top.

Every year, it is important to prune your tree at the end of winter just above a well-formed wood bud.

  • Check that the pruning is well balanced and that there is no dominant central stem, but rather a number of evenly-sized branches.

It is important to perform a fruit-inducing pruning to trigger appearance of many beautiful nectarines.

  • The nectarine tree is very vulnerable to peach leaf curl, and, clearly, proper pruning will give your nectarine tree vigor and a make it more resilient.

You can also treat your nectarine tree before the first leaves appear, with organic acaricide (mite killer) or a spray containing Bordeaux mixture.

Learn more about the nectarine tree

Nectarine harvestWho has never dreamed of standing up after a nice family feast to go fetch a few peaches from the tree in the garden? This dream is within reach, if you simply care for your tree and considered location, pruning and fertilizing.

With an early cute pink blooming, your nectarine tree will produce magnificent fruits for you during the summer.

  • The nectarine, produced by the Prunus persica nucipersica is actually a natural mutation of the peach tree.

The difference between peach and nectarine is mostly on appearance since the peach tree bears a velvety skin whereas the nectarine’s skin is smooth. The nectarine is smooth and shiny.

Diseases and parasites that attack nectarine trees

nectarine tree diseasesLike the peach tree, its ancestor, nectarine is rather fragile compared to other orchard trees.

Read more about helpful orchard management:

Smart tip about the nectarine tree

Learn to use organic products, because nowadays they have become very effective and won’t contaminate the fruits you’re eating…

Images: CC BY-ND 2.0: Asha Gupta, CC BY-SA 2.0: Alain Le Clere, Simone Van Iderstine, Pixabay: Fruchthandel_Magazin
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  • Cindy Olsen wrote on 10 May 2020 at 22 h 35 min

    I’ve had a nectarine planted for 7 years. In the past few years the Curly leaf was ever present. This year I decided to spray the plant before the first buds. Now the tree looks like it’s dying, it has few leaves, and the few “new branches” break off . We had a drought winter, but the tree did get water. Now, I am watering it everyday and have given in spike plant food. Is there anything I can do to save the tree?

    • Gaspard wrote on 11 May 2020 at 10 h 00 min

      Hi Cindy, it’s always frustrating when a cure turns out to weaken the tree instead of fortifying it. Perhaps the spray was a bit too aggressive? It seems to me that the tree might have been poisoned. Here’s a few tips on how to try to save a poisoned tree. Perhaps there are a few things that might help.

      There’s a small chance that having sprayed just before a freeze damaged buds and leaves. Wet buds tend to freeze and die when temperatures drop early morning. If you think this might have happened, then the tree should recover in time.