Maya, I wish that all my peach varieties would set at about the amount this tree had on it. The variety that I started off with had so much fruit on it that the trees were bent over all the way to the ground. I thinned and thinned and thinned, but I didn't make a dent in them. They were so tall that I could not get to them early on and I had to wait until the limbs bent over from all the weight. That is the wrong way to go about growing quality fruit as you well know.. Many of them have not sized out and I have been picking them off and cutting them up for frozen peaches. That's the only way that I can make the money out of them that I need. I'll be finished with this variety in a few days and I'll be picking from trees that I was able to prune and thin in a more professional way. That tree is one of them. I thin by hand and with a padded stick called a Kentucky Bumper. When I grew apples I always used NAA OR Sevin.
You are right about the mushroom. They identified it on Ginseng Growers as Chicken of the Woods.
I had a very heavy fruit set this year and if I see that it is a year like that I try to hand thin up and down a limb to where they are 6 inches apart. Each variety is a little different so there may not be much thinning on one type of tree and hours worth of work on another. Almost all of these late blooming varieties are like that. They rarely get enough frost damage to thin them naturally. Hand thinning is one of the most time consuming jobs in the orchard.
I have made 6 trips to the mountains to plant ginseng berries this year and I still have the later producing plants to pick from. After that, comes the Wild Tn. berries. Most of the early ripening strain are in the ground now. It's been a busy time.
Good luck on finding some new plants as the season moves on.
I know if you are like other growers, you are getting anxious about now. It's always great to see the first fruits of your hard labor getting close picking time.
I had mentioned to you about the Contender Peach variety. Here are some pictures of the first ones to ripen. We taste tested a couple of them yesterday and they were very sweet. My wife said they were the best tasting ones we had picked this year.