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NECTARINE

Prunus persica var. nucipersica

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The nectarine is a deciduous tree, that grows 4-10 m tall, and is native to the region of Northwest China. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach or a nectarine, where peaches have characteristic fuzz on the fruit skin and nectarines are characterized by the absence of fuzz on the fruit's skin. The leaves are lance-like, 7–16 cm long, 2–3 cm broad, and pinnately veined. The pink flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves, and they are either solitary or paired. The fruit has yellow or whitish flesh, a delicate aroma, and smooth skin. The flesh is very delicate and easily bruised in some cultivars, but is fairly firm in some commercial varieties, especially when green. The single, large seed is red-brown, oval shaped, and is surrounded by a wood-like husk. Peaches, along with cherries, plums and apricots, are stone fruits (drupes). Cultivated nectarines are divided into cling stones and free stones, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not; both can have either white or yellow flesh. Nectarines with white flesh typically are very sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed nectarines typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this also varies greatly. Both colors often have some red on their skin.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Fruiting time
Summer, Spring

Harvesting

Your tree will start to give you fruit when it’s about 3 to 4 years old, though it will take a few years to build up to a complete harvest. Most trees will keep producing for 20 years. Nectarines are ripe to pick when they come off easily from the branches, when the sugar is high and the fruit is sweet.

Propagation

Seed
Seed will grow after cold- stratification, but will not be true to type. Graft or bud the right cultivar unto your seedling!
Cuttings
Commercially nectarines are propagated by grafting or budding on a strong seedling.

Special features

Hedge plant
Nectarines can be tree-trained or espaliered into different shapes, including a neat hedge row.

Geography

Origin
Northwest China

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
Fruit is rich in minerals like iron and Vitamins. Leaves were used for centuries as wash and in medicine. The fruit is filled with carotenes and flavonoids, helping to have good eye-sight.
Edible
Fruit is used fresh, juiced or preserved.

Personality

Family
Rosaceae
Flower colour
Pink
Scent
None

Problems

Nectarines struggle with curly leaf. Spray the trees when they are dormant with lime sulfur and when the blossoms start with a copper spray before rainy weather. Keep on doing this weekly until all the leaves are out or the tree is in 50% flower.

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