I don’t know who inspired me to try O’Henry here in the northeast where it probably is never grown commercially- maybe Scott and certainly someone on this forum. No nurseries that supply northeast commercial growers carry it that I know of. It is susceptible to bacterial leaf spot so commercial growers relied on the likes of Autumn Glo and Encore for their latest crop of peaches when I started my orchard here.
I used to grow the rot prone Autumn Glo but switched to the smaller fruited (but still good sized) Encore and was happy with its fruit for 15 years. However, I planted O’henry here 4 years ago but last years weather made me wait until this season to taste its fruit. It is a nicer peach than any I’ve tried in its season- been picking it for 4 days or so. Less fuzz, prettier, deeper orange flesh and higher brix than Encore.
I’ll probably be giving away most of my huge crop of Encores this year. I won’t cut down the tree, however, until O’henry has proven itself for a few more years. I will cut back the Encore, though. No sense growing so many more peaches than I need.
I’ve grown O’henry for quite a few years and like the flavor a lot for a late peach. I don’t know if you recall, but I once sent you a couple O’henry callused in sleepy eye bud grafts. They never did push growth for you (probably because the delay in shipping weakened the rootstock. I’ve found the rootstock needs a lot of energy to push growth of sleepy eyes. Even digging up and moving the rootstock before spring will take some of the energy and there is a greater chance the grafts won’t push growth.)
I’ve found O’henry has a couple of grower issues for me. It’s fairly bac. spot susc. in a commercial setting, as you mention (though not too bad though in my back yard.) The other issue is that it’s a little finicky when it comes to being productive. If the spring weather is a little off, it’s production suffers considerably for me.
I like the shape of O’henry. For some reason I like the look of really round peaches, and I’ve found they taste really good. I know there is no scientific basis for this observation, and I’ve had oblong peaches taste great, but it seems like the round varieties are always good.
First year for my ohenry to fruit, only got a few due to late freeze here this year, however the few I had were very good, i really like it and loring
Good to hear.
Too bad the beasts of the field stole my tree’s first fruitlets this year.