Popular Mechanics 76(6): 44 (December, 1941)

Treatment speeds peach tree to bear fruit in two years

Prodding Mother Nature by a new treatment for fruit pits, Dr. W. E. Lammerts of the University of California can make a peach tree yield fruit in two years. This compares with three to four years under ordinary methods. Dr. Lammerts removes the kernels from their hard pits and soaks them in a nutrient solution of agar, sugar and vitamin B1 for three weeks, which hastens sprouting. They are then removed to clean washed sand, where they are kept moist for another three weeks. By then the seedlings are large and strong enough to be placed in soil-filled pots. At nine months the plants are set out in the field, and by their second birthday the trees start producing peaches. This two-year breeding cycle permits quicker study of such characteristics as skin and flesh color, free or clinging pits, and chilling requirements. Within five years more than 5,000 cross-pollinated seedlings have been grown and studied at the Armstrong Nurseries in Ontario, Calif., where Dr. Lammerts has carried on his experiments.

CybeRose Note: Reychler (1938) further hastened sprouting of peach kernels by removing the membrane covering the seeds. They sprouted in just 10 days.