About 100 yards behind the pollinator garden, you’ll find “The Peach Pit.” Formerly the site of the Tucker Woman’s Club, The Peach Pit is home to 25 peach and nectarine trees- thanks to Tucker High School STEM students who lugged wheelbarrows and buckets of compost and mulch up the hill to help plant and dress the plants. The Peach Pit includes a wide range of species and also seedlings found in the Wild.
Even though Georgia is the Peach State, peach trees (Prunus persica) are not native. The first ones were imported from Europe in the mid-1500s by French explorers, and originated in China over 2,000 years ago. If you’ve ever tried, you know peaches are difficult to grow here organically because of a range of pests and diseases – likely from over-domestication that has weakened their natural defenses.
The Peach Pit is part of a study investigating the main peach tree diseases, including brown rot and plum curculio. The study is led by FTPOG colleagues, John Heron and Rod Pittman, who are also studying peach trees planted at The Baby Fruit Tree Project in Dunwoody.
Plans call for more peach trees to be added, including from heirloom seeds imported from China. A stand of apricot trees will be added next year by Jim Pruckler. A natural amphitheater, a small stage at the bottom of The Peach Pit will be added in the near future, for lectures, theater productions and acoustic concerts, with Tuckerites relaxing on blankets and chairs nestled among the peach and apricot trees. The amphitheater is supported by the Friends of Tucker Parks, the Tucker Optimist Club and the Main Street Theatre Company.