Looking for The Best peach to grow in Baltimore

Hello! This is my first post to this forum, and I’m so happy I found it!

I’ve been wanting to plant a peach tree or a few years, and keep going 'round and 'round as to which variety. It has to be the best. Haha. I’ve been researching and keep coming back to a few varieties that sound good, but I would love to find someone in Baltimore who has experience growing peaches.

I would like, since I’m only going to grow one, excellent disease resistance, excellent flavor, kind of firm, melting, juicy, large, red skinned with deep yellow flesh, free-stone. No problemo. right?!

I’m looking at PF 24, Contender, Loring. and, of course, Redhaven. I am skeptical of the good reviews PF24 and Contender are getting because of their apparent appeal for cold-hardiness. I’m concerned that might mean that among the cold hardy varieties, PF24 and Contender might be the best tasting, but overall they might be just okay. I’m not sure I would need to limit myself that degree og cold-hardiness in Baltimore anyway. Loring, of course has a color issue, but of everything else checked out, I might ease up on that desire. Redhaven appeals to me because of it’s reputation, and if it is truly the best tasting, I’d like to know how free-stone it is. I’ve read it is semi-cling, or that it is unreliably free-stone year after year, or that the ripeness determines it’s free-stone quality. Hmmm…which is it? One other thing I’ve read about Redhaven that, if true, would be very appealing to me is the need for a few harvests. I spoke with Mark at Tubby about this and he said (if I understood correctly) that commercial growers might not find multiple harvests efficient, but honestly most varieties yield crops that do not ripen all the same time anyway, but yes, Redhaven does seem to need an additional harvest or two. This appeals to me greatly because we want to eat fresh ripe peaches off the tree and we are a small family. Sure we will cook with and preserve some…we will have to…but it would be great to have an extended harvest of sorts from a single tree.

I’ve already read the post about the Red Baron vs. Kaweah, but have not looked further into either of those. I would be more than happy to be pointed towards other varieties better suited for my area.

Additional site conditions for my tree include typical Maryland clay soil, but I have been amending it somewhat over the years in the bed where the peach will be planted. It will be at the top of a 4 foot slope as well. Full sun.

I’ll deal with the inevitable squirrel problem later.

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Welcome you’ve come to the right place. Well maybe because on one here can have only one peach.

Scott is your man. He lives very near Baltimore. Here is a recent report. I’m sure he has a summary elsewhere. Our search feature works pretty well.

Scott can advise on this one. He lives in Baltimore too and has grown many types of stone fruit

And no you don’t need the extra hardy peaches near Baltimore. You’re right that most of those are second tier eating at best. Your issues will be mainly various rots and bacterial issues with leaves and fruit. Plus peach tree borer but that’s the same on all peaches.

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Redhaven is your obvious choice. It tastes very good, and meets all your requirements. It is not overrated.

If you want to go for the gusto, but assume slightly more risk, then plant Loring, which is among the very best in taste, but perhaps not as rugged.

Welcome Kristin! I’m in Mt. Washington and have tried about 50 different peaches over the years. RedHaven is a very reliable peach for our area. It is a touch less flavorful than the best which is why I don’t grow it. The difference is not that great so its still a very good choice. Some reliable ones I like include Ernie’s Choice and Winblo. Kit Donnell is also looking very promising but I think only Raintree is selling it now. Any backyard peach will be far superior to store bought, pick each fruit when your thumb press to the top gives a little. The big commercial orchards pick them too early and even a great variety will only be OK.

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Do you think any of the Flaming Fury varieties taste best?

Thanks Scott. I’ll check those out.

No. I’ve been underwhelmed by the Flamin Furys.

Photos I’ve taken…

Redhaven from Pryor’s Orchard, Thurmont, Md:

Loring (right) from Boyer’s Nursery, Biglerville, Pa:


My daughter and I have decided to go sample these suggested varieties this summer, and then pick the one we like. To add to my uncertainty, I’ve discovered another discriminating factor, sweetness/acidity. One website said Americans seem to prefer a more acid peach, which would be a shock to the taste buds of people from China. Oh, Lord. Clearly I have to get out there and taste some non-grocery store peaches. …to be continued…

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Please report back after your taste tests.

Will do. I hope we can settle on one! I’m taking this very seriously, aren’t I?

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In the photo above, the white peach on the left is Blushingstar, which is super sweet, but low acid, the traditional type of preference for Chinese palates.

Welcome! Don’t ever worry about taking fruit too seriously…trust me, around here taking fruit seriously has a whole new meaning. When I was starting my little backyard orchard I bet I spend 30-40 hours of internet research on every single tree I ordered. Over time I did less, but I still spend many, many hours reading about and comparing varieties before I make the plunge to buy a new tree. I can honestly say that I put less research time into my $25,000 new car last fall than I do into most $25 fruit trees!!! That is just completely insane, but true. So again, around here you never have to apologize for being too serious about a fruit decision!!!

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I must be part Chinese! Love those white flesh sweet peaches and nectarines!

There is another type of peach - separate from the yellow, white, and red flesh types - called the “honey” peach. Apparently these honey peaches are widespread in China, but rare in the U.S.

The cultivar of honey peach most circulated in the U.S. is “Pallas.” Pallas can still be occassionally purchased from the Arboreum Company. I have never tasted a honey peach, but others on this forum have grown and eaten them for years, with mixed but mostly positive reactions.

That Blushingstar looks real nice. I have a standard size tree coming in a month from Stark’s. I tried a white and yellow peach from Wally World (I know, prob not the best place for fruit), but I preferred the white to the yellow.

You mentioned Pallas, isn’t @scottfsmith growing them?

It’s funny how many things in my life have a Chinese connection. I say funny, because 4 years ago I started hosting Chinese exchange students. For the past two years, I’ve had two at a time. Their food preferences are entirely different from ours, and our Chinese food is nothing like the real thing.
(But they found an authentic restaurant off route 40, so that’s where we go now, even when the Chinese girls go home for the summer. And don’t get me started about Korean barbeque!)

Yet, I cannot say that the white flesh peaches appeal to me, at least visually. I’ll try them, but I’ll be surprised if we end up selecting one to plant. They just look…I don’t know…ill? Like they could faint any minute? haha

I am growing several honey peaches. They are all prone to rot so I would not strongly recommend them except for people in the dry west. They are a nice 6th or 7th tree once you have the brown rot in your orchard and have learned how to control it.

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