First Silver Gem Nectarine

Fruitnut told me so and he is right. White nectarines don’t necessarily share the relative blandness of many white peaches and Silver Gem proves it. It is the first white nectarine I’ve tasted in probably 15 years and is much better than any of the peaches I’ve got ripe on trees right now.

Those would be Earlystar and Desiree. I know Desiree has been better in years past but perhaps all the June rain took a toll on it and ES but Silver Gem is full flavored with plenty of acid snap, beautiful red flesh blending to white. More of a cling than a freestone, the texture and even the taste is a bit like Tasty Rich peach, another new winner for me.

This is only the second season for the tree as I expanded my experimental orchard then so I am, as usual, jumping the gun in offering any appraisal. Follow my lead at your own risk as I will have more reliable advice in 3 or 4 years about the new varieties I’m testing.

I planted trees from Adams with good roots at the same time as 4 trees with butchered roots from DW’s most popular distributor. None of the DW trees are providing any sample fruit this year due to the root job.

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I also had my first Silver Gem about a week or so ago and agree with the assessment. Pretty good white nectarine. Lots of red flesh. It was way better than another nect which ripened the same time, Carene.

I should also mention I tried Honeyblaze nect for the first time this year. Lots of sugar, but I didn’t like it. Not enough acid for me.

In general, I can see why folks say nects are harder to grow. They are much harder to grow here.

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Harder than what…peaches?

Damn…I’m out then, and that’s disappointing to me since I was actually considering them. I bought some very good white fleshed nectarines a few weeks ago.

Harder to grow probably depends on where you are. I don’t treat nectarines different than peaches, but without protection they are more prone to brown rot. They are more inclined to crack if there’s a lot of rain when they come into ripeness, which would be a huge problem in commercial production but it simply makes the fruit a bit less useful for a home grower.

This year my early peaches got hammered with deforming stinkbug damage (they are close to a lot of native plants in wild parts of my landscape) but nearby nects are pretty clean. Not sure if that’s a coincidence. I’ve plenty of clean peaches in more tame areas.

Yes. They’ve been much harder to grow this year than peaches. They’ve gotten so spotty from all the rain (bac. spot) it’s like 1/2 the nect is covered with one huge scab on most of them.

I agree with Alan that the insect damage hasn’t been anymore for the nects than for peaches, which surprised me. I had thought with their smooth skin would make them more susc. to insect damage, but I didn’t see that.

Is it just my limited experience, or are nectarines harder to graft than peaches? I had good luck on everything else, but no takes out of 4 nectarine grafts (onto peach).

There’s no reason to believe nectarines should be harder to graft than peaches.

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How many different types of nectarine were you attempting to graft? It may just be that you had trouble with a particular variety, which could come down to the scionwood. I grafted a bunch of peaches and nectarines this spring and the results were anything from 5 out of 5 to 0 out of 7 (perfect for Early Crawford and zero from Zin Dai Jiu Bao, with many varieties in between). I suspect it comes down to the wood from some being older, less vigorous, or just not as good in some unknown way. I didn’t do too many nectarines, but off the top of my head I remember that at least one of them was near the top (good) end of the spectrum.

@BobVance sorry I’m so slow, went into a bit of a slump! Anyway I checked my records and it turns out I only did four nectarine grafts, two Fantasias and two Snow Queens. They were all tiny, tiny scions so I think you are probably right that it’s the quality of the scion and not something about nectarines. At the next scion exchange I’m going to go for the nectarine scions early and get bigger ones! Belated thanks for your response.

Yeah, most of the time people give me thinner scion wood than I want- much thinner. I have a far better ratio of success with my own wood- always at least as thick as a cheap Bic pen.

It only took me 4 years to find out how Silver Gem tasted :smile:

The scionwood probably was from you. It set two nectarines. One fell today. It was sweet but also high in acid. Brix measured at 20. We like it. We also don’t have any fruit this sweet after apricots last month.

It ripened before Glenglo (as my Glenglo was picked at least a week too early). Could be the earliest nectarines I have.


It doesn’t crack as much as most and is a very reliable bearer. I love all the red in its flesh. The fruit is small, but that’s fine by me.


I never have Arctic Glo. People said it is a good combo of sugar and acid. My first Silver Gem tasted like sugar/acid combo. Thanks for the recommendation.

Arctic Star is just sweet. Easternglo is more acid than sweet (to my taste). None of my nectarines is large. The first year Freckled Face that fell wassmall and unripe. Not sure why it fell.

So far, Artic Glo, which is a pretty big tree and should bear well, has not shown Gem’s dependability, it ripens later, doesn’t have the beautiful red in the flesh and isn’t as flavorful, even with just a few fruit on the tree.

It still isn’t a completely fair comparison, because the trees are growing on different parts of my property, but the odds are Gem is better for us. It was bred by Rutgers, after all.

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Are you sure you did not confuse Arctic Star with Arctic Glo?

From @Drew51’s pics, Arctic Glo is very red flesh. Arctic Star is the one with white flesh and sweet with no acid.

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My first leaf Arctic Star was very flavorful this year (and very sweet), in my opinion it’s one of the top white nectarines flavor wise, to the extent that I am thinking of adding another tree.


Yes, very very red! If it isn’t blood red, it’s not Glo.


I’m sure Adams sold it to me as Artic Glo- sold me a bundle of 5 which I bought based on Drew’s high recommendation.

The hard part is how to know if the tree was misidentified or if it performs differently here.

The nect I have ripens a good 7-10 days later than Gem and yet their chart suggests it should just be a couple days later.

Even Adams gets quite a few varieties mixed up.

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There are pics of Arctic Glo on several nursery websites. They almost use Dave Wilson’s pic of nectarines that showed red flesh.

There is a nursery that copies AG’s description from some other sites that say AG has white flesh but accompanying the description with Dave Wisen’s red flesh pic.

I don’t have AG so I can’t say. My Arctic Star graft (if true from the source) has white flesh and no acid.