Peach Split Pit

Split Pit Peach - Hilary
Split Pit Peach - Hilary

This is a Galaxy Peach grown in a large container in Victoria under ideal conditions. This is one of the Donut peaches. While Donut peaches were a fad a few years ago, they are now mainstream. Removing the pit from these peaches is very easy.

The problem with the peach in this image is Split Pit, a common disorder of peaches and nectarines, most common with very early ripening cultivars. Galaxy and Early Red Haven are both early and both are prone to split pit. Split pits are culled out during sorting of commercially grown fruit so you may not see this problem until you grow your own peaches.

Peaches fruit go through a rapid growth period for about 30 days after bloom, then fruit growth slows while the pit hardens. Once hardened, the fruit enters the last rapid fruit growth period.  Things that stimulate fast growth or irregular growth during pit hardening will increase split pits. Providing ideal growing conditions with the goal of producing bigger fruit will cause more split pits.

Early peaches have a shorter pit hardening period so they may enter the final rapid fruit growth period before the pit is completely hardened, increasing the number of split pits. 

Prevention:

  1. Delay thinning the fruit till after pit hardening to delay rapid growth of the smaller number of fruit that remain after thinning. Every few days cut some of the fruit you plan to remove when thinning to determine when pit hardening starts and ends.
  2. Reduce the amount of nitrogen you apply to the tree in the spring by half. Add the second half of the nitrogen after pit hardening to increase fruit growth during the second growth phase.
  3. Ensure consistent irrigation during pit hardening.

For more information see:  PNW  Handbooks-  Peach (Prunus persica)-Split Pit s

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