Dear Donal,

this is your tree!

Your tree still has to be planted

Your tree still has to be planted

Information about your tree:

Species: Peach (Prunus persica),
Location: Ferme du Plessis, 28190 Pontgouin, France,
Purpose: Creation of a fruit orchard for an eco-village,
Date of plantation: February 2019 (date to define),
Status: Hosted in the tree nursery, ready to be planted. Planting postponed due to adverse conditions.

Description of your tree:

The peach (Prunus persica) is a deciduous tree, which can grow up to 7m tall and 6m wide crown. The leaves are lanceolate, 7–16 cm long, 2–3 cm broad, pinnately veined. The flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves; they are solitary or paired, 2.5–3 cm diameter, pink, with five petals.
Depending on their features, the fruits can be called “peaches” or “nectarines”. Nectarines have usually a slightly different taste and they can be recognised by the absence of hairs on the fruit skin. However their species is exactly the same.
The peach tree belongs to the genus “Prunus” which includes Cherries (Prunus avium, Prunus cerasus, Prunus padus), Apricot (Prunus armeniaca), Plums (Prunus domestica) and Almonds (Prunus dulcis), which is its closest relative. In fact the shape, size and smell of the peach seed and the almond seeds are very similar and in some countries peach seeds are used in bakery instead of almonds.

Peaches are native in North-West China, however the human kind has spread its cultivation all over the Eurasian continent, making it naturalised in many places outside its natural range, like in Europe where it is naturalised since several centuries. In fact although it is native of China, the peach takes its name “Prunus persica” from Persia, a region of Iran, where it is indeed widely cultivated and where this plant is so common that the Ancient Romans believed that it was indigenous of that region.

Peaches grow in a fairly limited range in dry, continental or temperate climates. Most varieties require 3 weeks of chilling around 0 to 10 °C. During the chilling period, key chemical reactions occur, but the plant appears dormant. Once the chilling period is fulfilled, the plant enters a second type of dormancy, the quiescence period. During quiescence, buds break and grow when sufficient warm weather favourable to growth is accumulated. The trees themselves can usually tolerate temperatures to around −26 to −30°C. Flower bud death begins to occur between −15 and −25 °C, with the buds becoming less cold tolerant in late winter.

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