Submitted to: Southeastern Peach Growers Handbook
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 22, 2002
Publication Date: February 1, 2005
Citation: Beckman, T.G., Nyczepir, A.P. 2005. Peach tree short life. In: Horton, D., Johnson, D., editors. Southeastern Peach Growers Handbook. University of Georgia Extension Bulletin. p. 199-205. Interpretive Summary: Peach tree short life (PTSL) is an important problem facing southeastern U.S. peach producers. Growers need information about its causes and management. The Peach Production Guide was recently rewritten to incorporate new information on the management and control of a large number of production issues, including PTSL. Information on PTSL symptoms, its causes, economic importance and control was rewritten and updated for this edition. Careful adherence to the management practices presented should help growers minimize losses to PTSL.
Technical Abstract: Peach tree short life (PTSL) is a major problem in southeastern US peach production areas. It is characterized by the sudden spring time collapse and death of young trees, typically 3-7 years of age. PTSL is believed to be caused by cold injury and bacterial canker, either acting alone or in concert with each other ultimately resulting in tree death. PTSL severity is influenced by a number of factors including time of pruning, rootstocks, orchard floor management, fertilization and rapidly fluctuating temperatures in late winter and early spring. The primary biotic factor predisposing peach trees to PTSL is the ring nematode. Several theories have evolved to explain disease development. Control programs have been developed to help minimize PTSL losses. These programs include site preparation, planting stock selection and cultural practices. Attention to all three aspects is essential in order to minimize PTSL losses.