Peach/Nectarine Variety Recommendations for PA

I’ve been reading this forum religiously for the last month or so. This is a phenomenal resource and thank you to everyone who has been sharing their experience.

I’m new to peach/nectarine growing and have room for two (maybe three) trees. Ideally, they would ripen at different times, be easy growers (lower spray/disease resistant) and be a mix of white and yellow flesh varieties, I’m only interested in fresh eating varieties. I’m just outside of Philadelphia in zone 7A so I’m assuming I’ll have all the east coast issues.

I’ve been thinking about an Elberta/Redhaven type with an early white nectarine like NJN100, but i don’t actually have any experience with these.

Any thoughts or suggestions?


One of our best growers in southern NY, @alan , really likes Carene an early yellow fleshed nectarine. Search that here and maybe you can find info.

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I secretly collect peaches… and from this forum have read some great reviews on almost all of them.

Early- Gala seems to be a good one.
Mid- Carolina Gold
Late- Winblo

I also plant Contender for just in case of some freak weather… I plant O’Henry just because i like it…even though it has issues.

Im not into white… so no help there. I have a Red Baron for the blooms and an Indian Free just for the novelty of it.

I do have a white that im trying called Iowa White… but that would be no interest to you.

None of mine are of age to bear fruit yet…i just have them planted based on this forum and many years of others growing them.

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@Ahmad and @BobVance have grown several tasty nectarines and peaches. They are in CT, your next door state. Hope they can chime in.

I am in Central PA (6 A/B) and have (early-to-late): Glenglo, Redhaven, Ernie’s Choice, and Contender. I have been pretty pleased with them so far. I am hit-or-miss with my spraying and I have had good crops for the past several years.

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The best late season white nectarine I have had is Zephyr. It ripens in September and is available from ACN nursery.

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If you want an early white nect out of the Rutgers program I recommend Silver Gem, which, for a nect, is relatively undemanding if you plan to use a low-spray synthetic program like the one I suggest in guides. If you plan to try to do it organic, better to stick with peaches because the fuzz makes them more insect resistant and it holds Surround well. Fruit quality of SG is excellent if you like a nect with some acid. The commercial market seems to be leaning towards sub-acid types to appeal to America’s extreme sweet tooth. However, sub-acid nects tend to be difficult because of their high attraction to wasps and just about everything else. Carene has the advantage of ripening before wasps have built up high populations and is the only low-acid nect I can consistently get crops from here. However, I don’t know of any nurseries that sell it anymore.

I consider Elberta mediocre for a Sept peach and there are a number of varieties with superior fruit. Madison is good if you are hoping to harvest fruit without a special brown rot spray.

A lot depends on how you plan to manage the trees.


I was thinking about planting an O’Henry…
Is it no acid or balanced? I’m looking for a balanced because everything I have is no acid

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My review from my location in WV.

OHenry has the acid u want… some complain that its ugly though…it gets bac. spot. Probably wont get you many likes on posting photos but you will get alot of likes when you share them to eat.

My local O’Henry is at a neighbors house… Its ugly and the bees wear it out in hot August… It has pure pucker power and then a wallop of sweetness. Tart/Tangy then sweet.

There is an old review about it not being juicy…but my neighbors tree that is growing in very poor soil…during a good hot long drought…those peaches burst with juice and get all over your face and clothes…

So im guessing the reviews vary by location.

FYI he doesnt spray or thin… he just lets them do their thing and everyone that wants peaches are welcome to them before the yellowjackets get them all.

So as far as i know…its bad for splitting, and gets bac spot… Here it is not chewy, nor non juicy… its delicious.

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I 2nd this. Silver Gem is deliciously acidic and very flavorful. I also really like Glenglo for an earlier peach. They appear to ripen around the same time though.

A later peach that’s particularly productive and resilient is Intrepid. It isn’t spoken of frequently on here, but it’s a workhorse for me. That one starts to ripen right before my Asian pears and figs so it fills a nice fruit void for me.


Nects get a ton of attention from PC and OFM here in central PA. Ive had more luck with peaches taking less damage or none at all from PC with no to little spraying. Red Baron has been a dual purpose peach for me for a few years and I really like them. My Redhaven is too young to mention much. Saturn does well if you spray constantly for brown rot. Avalon Pride is coming along nicely but I have yet to taste one.

I have a unknown pink flowering nectarine which tastes good but is a major battle with PC, OFM, and brown rot every season.

Similar enough my Nectaplum and Peacotum fruit alot but also suffer from all of the previous named ailments all to well just a little too much!

No more than apples and plums, especially Euro plums here, which is why you usually have to control them for the best results. Sure, some sites some years peaches come through adequately without insecticide, but I’ve never seen a mature and useful peach orchard that didn’t at least use surround to get some control of insects. I suppose it depends on your standards, or maybe you have different conditions than I do in NY, but I hate ever having to buy fruit. Organic growers around me just don’t pull nearly the same consistent crops and I wonder how many years you’ve been growing no-spray peaches.

What do I know? I know further north it’s easier to get peaches without spray, but I’d be surprised if your insect and brown rot pressure was less there than here. Surprises happen.


The PC seem to prefer smooth skinned fruits in my yard before fuzzy or tough ones. Apricots, nectarines, plums, pluots, and other similar fruits get hit first. For some odd reason they have left my cherry trees alone. Same for apples and pears. However on a bad fruit production year they went after black walnuts. That one really confused me!

Also forgot to mention they were sprayed very minamally the last two years. Usually one to two applications of surround wp, spinosad, and indar. I just think its been dumb luck and combination of heavy fuzz that has spared me so far.

What are you referring to with the term PC and OFM? Not sure if my peaches have them.

Carolina Gold is more of a mid to late peach, as for me it ripens in the last week of August and the first week of September. It can be highly flavored, but not uniform. Sometimes I’d get part of a piece of fruit much higher brix than another part of the same fruit. Fruit size wasn’t that big, but I probably don’t thin enough.

Loring is one of my favorites, not because it has crazy brix or flavor, but because it is an above average (maybe 2 brix higher than many common peaches) and has good size (almost softball), even when I didn’t thin enough.

I really like late season (end of September to first week of October) peaches like Carnival and White Heath Cling. At that point, I’ve had plenty of jujubes and apples and am ready for more stonefruit.

I’ve got a number of different peach/nectarines that I haven’t had before on the trees this year. I’ve been keeping fungicide on them, so maybe I get a bit lucky with the animals and actually sample a lot of them.

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PC = plum curculio.

OFM = Oriental Fruit Moth

CM = coddling moth

These are serious pests fruit tree growers are facing in most areas in the US.

If you read my first post attentively, you will see that I mention the relative protection peach fuzz provides and realize that I’m saying that early fruiting nects will need extra protection compared to peaches- just no more than E. plums and most apples (most sites, most seasons in my region).

The fuzz also seems to somehow offer some protection from brown rot- whence my recommendation of early fruiting varieties of nects. I use a single Indar-Captan spray in early summer to protect nects and peaches for the entire season (most seasons- if we stay locked in this tropical rain forest pattern, I may need to spray twice) in most of the orchards I manage. Later ripening nects will likely need at least one extra spray.

I control PC and other spring pests with two insecticide-fungicide sprays, whether they are smooth skinned or not and it works almost equally well for all, though some sites some seasons E. plums may suffer a relatively small percentage of losses.

Thanks for all of the recommendations everyone. Please keep them coming.

I know low spray stone fruit is like the holy grail on the east coast, but I’m trying to do everything I can to make my life easier later by picking the right varieties.

Regarding diseases, I’ve read a lot about Brown Rot in this forum. Can you get around Brown Rot by planting early varieties or planting resistant varieties, or do you have to spray for it no matter what?

I haven’t seen many people talk about Bacterial Spot issues. Since a lot of the breeding programs seem focused on it, I have to assume it’s an issue for commercial growers. Is it not an issue for home growers?

Sometimes there are resources above and beyond forums and facebook groups… sometimes Universites do studies on things and then we share information.

Sometimes nurseries will help the buyer and give reviews like this-
The Glohaven peach tree is the perfect peach for deserts with resistance to brown rot, browning and bacterial spot.