Nectarine, the tree that bears nectarines

Soft nectarine growing on a tree.

The nectarine tree belongs to the same family as the peach tree, and it is an exceptional fruit tree that calls for a little care before harvesting the nectarines.

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

Planting, pruning and care is important to avoid diseases and ensure proper development 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).

Nectarine tree flower

Pruning, and caring for your nectarine tree

Nectarine tree with red fruitsNectarine 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

A bowl of freshly harvested nectarinesWho 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

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…

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Fruit on a nectarine tree by Alain Le Clere under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Blossoms on a nectarine tree by Sven Lachmann under Pixabay license
Large nectarine tree by Asha Gupta under © CC BY-ND 2.0
Nectarine harvest by Simone Van Iderstine under © CC BY-SA 2.0