Peach fruit survival- northeast report

I’ve already discussed the weather issues here this season- a winter low below -10 in the midst of the mildest winter in memory if not recorded history and then a spring frost below 20 when trees were in active growth and J. plums were in mid-bloom- this after a couple weeks of very warm weather. I’ve already written here about plums before but I’ve been to a lot more sites and almost all J. plums failed besides Shiro and, to a much lesser extent, Methely. I also stated that Empress was, by far, the most successful bearing Euro plum over about 20 varieties that are growing at my place and other sites.

For peaches at my site, the issue was primarily the winter low- the fruit buds were already frozen out before the spring low. Out of the 30 or so I grow here varieties that managed to bear are Tang0’s 1 and 2. TangO’s 1 also did well at a couple of other sites where most did not. I have a branch of Clayton that has a full crop on it while the Lady Nancy part of the tree has a couple and Madison, John Boy, Earnie’s choice, Summer Serenade, Coralstar, Encore and various nectarines adjacent to it are blank or nearly so. Gold Dust, Sugar May, Glenglow, PF 28, PF 27 and Winblow nearby are blank, while O’henry has 3 or 4 peaches as has Indian Free.

Other peaches that did relatively well here are Desiree and Flavorburst. I’m no fan of Flavorburst because it is a low acid variety but for those that like pure sweet it might be a great peach.

At other sites which didn’t get quite as cold, Redhaven did poorly but Newhaven had crop. Harrow Beauty was nearly blank while Harcrest needed lots of thinning with a full load. Rariton Rose did fairly well. Tang0’s was pretty good

The best Nectarine at a couple of different sites that had a few varieties was Summer Beaut, although it did nothing in my orchard. Jade also set a decent crop. Eastern Glo and Redgold didn’t do nearly as well in same location.

All this proves nothing because there is not nearly enough data. I don’t know if more peach flower buds survived winter at the better located orchards I manage and if it was the spring thing that got them. At one site there is a Shiro plum with a good crop while a couple hundred feet away at the same elevation another Shiro is blank (wetter spot, maybe). Another challenging season might bring much different results, but we need to at least share our experiences in hopes of getting some kind of an edge.



That’s helpful info for me. Partly because it reinforces a lot of what I’ve seen in terms of production. There are a few exceptions. Coralstar has never seemed to produce well for me. I had one tree at the house which was blank after years of very meager production, which I cut down. I have two more at the farm nearly blank which I plan to cut down.

Redhaven would be another exception. It almost always produces well here. When I went through some Redhaven trees at the farm the other day, they looked really good. I’m in love with this variety.

Pretty much everything else you mention is what I’ve seen here.

Flavrburst, is another mis-named peach for me. Sort of like Bounty is not bountiful, Red Delicious is not delish, Flavrburst doesn’t burst with flavor (almost the opposite to me). I have a couple Flavrburst which set a very heavy crop after our spring frosts, so I was thinking that was a plus, but then at about golf ball size, the fruits rotted from the inside and dropped.

I remember you warned that could happen, and it did. It happened a little bit on everything, but was really bad for Flavrburst. I plan to cut those trees down.


Hmmm, I forgot about that year. Never read in the literature how peaches could be damaged by frost but grow normally and then stop and rot. At least yours had the good manners to drop off the tree. When it happened in my orchard they stuck on the trees and rotted spreading it around if I didn’t painstakingly remove them.

That was an experiences that I was not only not forewarned about in any literature but when I asked the Cornell guru de jour about it he claimed it was because of high heat the following summer- as if peaches can’t take it in the humid high '90’s maybe a few hours in the low 100’s.

How would they grow them in Georgia- or Kansas, for that matter?

By the way, White Lady seems like it held fruit fairly well- another low-acid variety I can live without.

1 Like