I found out Stark Bros is selling a yellow dwarf donut peach hardy to zone 5

I got a email stating a item was put as available that I already got somewhere else today but decided to check out their stock on other items to see if they added anything new since that tree was up. Low and behold I found they were selling a tree called Saturn Gold. Supposedly it is a dwarf peach tree and will only get up to 7 or 8 feet. It sounds like it will ship small but it is a peach so it will likely grow fast. They are stating it is hardy to zone 5 and I don’t know if there is that many yellow donut peaches hardy to zone 5. Curious what your thoughts are on this.

If you are zone 6 give it a try. SB is much better on facts than a lot of nurseries that push borderline or out of zone sales.

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Well, just a quick note about the Stark Bros dwarf peach trees. My dwarf peach trees are 16’ tall. I ordered three dwarf peach trees from Stark Bros and that is the height they are now.
Of course mine were not the donut peach. I have " dwarf" Redhaven and Contender peaches.


Weird that they are saying dwarf varieties only get 8-10 feet tall and then they get to 16 feet. You wonder if you got a mislabeled one or the information was wrong.

Also to add after looking stark bros offers a dwarf Red Haven peach and a standard with the standard is supposed to get 15 feet. Contender peach they only sell as standard now at least which is supposed to get 15 feet as well. For that reason I wonder if you got standard peaches and not the dwarf.

Each of the labels said dwarf. I had four of them, two of each variety. Each one said dwarf on their labels. One of the Redhaven peach trees died before it produced any fruit. I replaced it with a Flaming Fury variety. I actually do not know how high that one is supposed to get. It can’t get any taller than the other " dwarf" varieties.

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I do wonder what rootstocks they use. Knowing rootstock of the “dwarf” and “standard” would certainly help so see.

They use either Lovell or Redleaf seeding.

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I would certainly not call Lovell a dwarf as it grows 18+ feet high. Redleaf is a semi dwarf and not really a dwarf in my opinion. Redleaf is citation if I am not mistaken and Bay Laurel claims citation reaches 14 feet.

I recent them a question asking what roootstocks they use for " dwarf" peach trees.
Here is the non-answer answer they gave me when I asked them today that question.
If this is the type of service they are giving customers they are too large to have good customer service.

"Dear Valued Customer,
We appreciate you reaching out to us. We use several different root-stocks, depending upon the desired result and what is available. For that reason, we’re unable to guarantee a specific root-stock. Rest assured, that we have chosen root-stock that is hardy and compatible with just about any growing region in the United States.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to reach back out to us, remember that we’re here for you. Have a great day!

Stark Bro’s Customer Support Team "


That is basically what I got. The rep said what you said where it is most times Lovell on their standard and RedLeaf seedling on their dwarf. Issue I have found is there is more than one Redleaf tree. There seems to be a Redleaf like the bonfire and then there seems to be 2 Readleaf rootstocks. Starks bros says they only grow 8-10 feet but I asked on how big of a pot I would need. She then responded a 25 inch by 25 inch pot. I am hoping she meant 25 inches wide because that would make sense for a pot and the fact she then said 15 gallons. A 25 inch pot by a 25 inch deep pot would mean the tree gets massive because I have not found a pot that ever goes 25 feet down. I have pots that go 16 inches down and 18 inches down but those pots are 40 gallon pots.

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I have a 57 gallon stainless steel pot with a sloped bottom with 50 drainage holes 3/16 inch diameter. It also has a 2 inch wide internal lip. I think that might do for a RedLeaf rootstock.

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I received a reply back from Stark Brothers. My “dwarf” pear trees are on Redleaf seedling rootstocks. I told them my “dwarf” peach trees are 16+’ tall.

“An average Dwarf sized tree will mature to be about 8-10’ tall and wide. There are a few different reasons that your peach trees have grown so tall. One, the planting depth of the graft was too deep, and two if the tree has been heavily fertilized and/or pruned, and especially if grown in a rich soil.”

I will try to do some research to see if these Redleaf seedlings are supposed to get 16’ tall. I have seen some information that states “dwarf” peach trees are usually 8-14’ tall. So I suppose the 16’ height is not entirely out of the question for being “dwarf”. They just seem too big for what I consider to be “dwarf” trees.

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I agree that 16 feet is too big for a dwarf. That is what some quote a standard tree like Lovell. I think the issue here is we don’t know a lot about the Redleaf seedling tree. I have heard it actually pronounced Starks Redleaf seedling. Starks is claiming it is only 8-10 feet and can grow in a 15 gallon pot which is not unheard of for a dwarf tree. They said in your email it was likely planted too deep which can be done pretty easily in my experience. Given the other tree is on Lovell rootstock and one is not even offered on the dwarfing rootstock you do wonder if they mislabeled a standard one which would also suck.

I do not believe I planted the trees too deeply. I always make sure I put the grafted area 4" above the soil area when I plant my trees. I have over 30 fruit trees planted. So planting them too deep would have been an issue with a lot more trees than just these from Stark Brothers.

Have you seen the search papers about Starks Red Leaf Seedling? I guess there have been research papers on it. Assuming they are using Starks RedLeaf Seedling they said in 8 years it gets about 3.7 meters which google says is about 12 feet. A alarming thing they do list is the fact that after 8 years peach trees had a 75% survival rate while Tennessee Natural, Baily and Lovell all had 100%. It also means if Starks is using the rootstock we are seeing in this study that it gets a bit higher than what they state. Certainly not 18’ like Lovell but a decent sized tree non the less. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Eight-year-performance-of-Redhaven-peach-on-11-rootstocks-at-Wooster-Ohio_tbl3_290007020

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I had to pull it up a different way for it to load properly. TY for the link. Good information.
According to this report the peach tree sizes are really about the same height. That is even though they tout them as " dwarf". They are supposed to get 12’ high. Mine are 16’+ high. Wooster, Ohio is only about 3-4 hours NNE away from be. There should not be that much difference in growing those trees from me to where they are.
Anyway, great info. TY for finding it and linking to it.

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