Looking for a firm, sweet yellow peach for Phoenix

After growing primarily white peaches and nectarines for years here in Phoenix, I’m looking to try yellow peaches again. Anyone with suggestions on a firm, sweet yellow low-chill peach under 500 chill hours? Not looking for anything mealy or mushy in texture.

I previously tried Red Baron, which never beared much in terms of fruit, and what little I did get, the birds ran off with. I also tried Dave Wilson “Saturn” – the California yellow peach, not the white donut – which was early and vigorous, but soft and tangy.

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Mid Pride


Of the old varieties, Tejon, Bonita, Redwing, and Fairtime should do well in your climate. Of the new (read Zaiger) varieties, the Pride series (May Pride, Eva’s Pride, June Pride, Mid-Pride, August Pride) and Tra-Zee. Also Flordaprince for early season (harvest time similar to May Pride).


DWN has multi grafted pride peach trees that I would recommend. They will definitely require some attention to balance out by pruning but will deliver good to incredible yellow peaches throughout most of the season. Make sure to plant the smaller branches facing the sun, while larger branches to the north. I bet they have a few at your local nursery, best to pick multi grafted trees out in person. Also make sure you get the June pride on there, it is the best! Good luck!

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Ended up going with Mid Pride, Early Amber, and Earligrande. The first one was a Dave Wilson holdover from last year on nemagard from a local nursery; the other two are on Hansen from a local grower. Will post pictures as they progress and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll top work them. Was very tempted to try Bonita as my local HD had some huge trees in 15 gals this year, but a little hesitant to try a later peach here when the fruit develops in continuous 110 degree heat. I had Red Baron once and it always ended up producing large, but often astringent fruit.

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Don’t you have clay soil in Phoenix? Nemagard is mostly for sandy soils, like those in Southeast. If I remember correctly, Nemagard struggles in clay.

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We don’t have much of a choice and we’re kinda screwed by our salty-alkaline clay growing conditions. Unless you order in your own rootstock like Hansen, Viking, or Rootpac-R and graft, the average homeowner is pretty much stuck with whatever Dave Wilson or LE Cooke grows their stuff on – which is often either nemagard or (yikes) citation. In other words, on rootstock that does fine for California and terribly for Arizona. Like C35 for citrus.

That being said, nemagard does okay out here if you are willing to do whatever it takes. You need to heavily amend, mulch, and utilize basin or flood irrigation. To get really good growth and production, you need to acidify our very alkaline irrigation water and some people become reliant on ammonium sulfate throughout the growing season.

Citation is a great choice for Phoenix.

Citation is terrible for Phoenix. It’s drought intolerant and extremely susceptible to Cotton Root Rot. Every tree that I’ve had on it has died within two years after being placed in the ground.

San Diego isn’t Phoenix.

And if you don’t believe me, even Bay Laurel has this on their website.

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OK, but the mileage of my customers in Phoenix has been very different.

Also, no “season” in Phoenix in normal sense of the word. With careful selection you might get a tree that works. The fruit comes in the week before Memorial day.

I well remember rushing out to harvest green tomatoes before they stewed on the vine.


Four Winds Growers now have their peaches and nectarines on Viking rootstock! RCI Growers has theirs on Hansen for a long time now. Both Viking and Hansen tolerate the high pH and salty calcareous soil in AZ well. Both are also very vigorous to withstand the Phoenix summer heat, but you still have to trim back the tree every year to not over burden the root system in the summer heat.

I prefer varieties like Red Baron and Arctic Star with about 300 chill hour more than sub 200 chill hour varieties like Flordaprince and Tropic Snow because they set way too much fruit and I have too much work, so don’t have time to thin 500 baby peaches off each tree.

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Flordaprince and Mid Pride are very tasty and productive in Phoenix. In fact they’re too productive for me. They are both good crunchy or soft.

Arctic Star is the only dependable nectarine I’ve tried in Phoenix. The fruits are scared by thrips, but are decent in size, quantity and quality. Most other nectarines either have trouble setting fruit or the fruits stay tiny. Does anyone know another good nectarine in Phoenix?


Didn’t realize that my original post was 7 years old. Time flies. I’ve been growing fruit trees in Phoenix for 17 years now and have pretty much tried every variety and I’ve found that all nectarines are susceptible to Western Flower Thrip damage in Phoenix. Arctic Star gets away with it due to its early development before the thrip stars making the rounds. The only other one that has worked out for me somewhat is Nectar Babe.

Prior to the pandemic, I know that Reid of RSI was starting to graft white donut nectarines as an experiment. I don’t know if he still does, but I would try those if I had more space in my yard.


I’m scared by thrips, also! :grin:

lol it’s true, they were shaking with fear.

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Nectar Babe :thinking: that’s interesting. I didn’t expect a miniature nectarine to do well in Phoenix. Are you willing to spare some Nectar Babe budwood? I can pay for it or trade the many varieties of fruits I grow.