Peach Rootstock and Peach/Nectarine Choices

I live in zone 7, my climate is dry and high altitude. I have tried to research what rootstocks are recommended for my area (northern Utah), but I haven’t had much luck.
Is there a clear better choice for peach rootstock between what seem to be the two most common, Citation and Lovell? I am planting my trees along my driveway in my front yard, west facing. I am looking to stay about 15 ft tall. Anything else I should look up? I have tried to see what diseases are most common in my area, but usually just come up with descriptions, and how to combat them.

I want to plant two more trees. I have a Rio Oso Gem on Citation that I got 50% off from a local nursery that is closing, and just planted last week.
My shortlist is: Indian Free, Stark Saturn Donut, Silver Logan, Arctic Jay Nectarine or Independence Nectarine.

I like to bake, can, and eat fresh. I love the traditional peach taste, but would like to try some that are not available here (even at farmer’s markets). I would enjoy hearing people’s experiences with these varieties.




Citation is a semidwarf rootstock, whereas Lovell is full size, I believe. From what I’ve read C doesn’t like dry conditions like you have, compared to L. So, if you want to keep a tree close to 15ft, C sounds like a better choice, but make sure it gets enough water. L would work, but it would probably need to be pruned more to keep it under control.

I think I’ve read from folks on here that Citation doesn’t do that great with nectarines, and as far as peaches are concerned, some say they tend to runt out. I’m sure more experienced and knowledgeable folks on here would have more info than me.

I have 4 peaches, all on Lovell, two have been in the ground since '16, and two were planted last year. I also have 3 pluots, planted this year. Two are on Myro rootstock (full size), and the other is a Citation. C isn’t recommended for KY, but my C pluot has grown the most this year.

None of my peaches have produced anything yet, but that’s because we get late freezes that zaps the blooms. Two or three of my trees ought to be big enough next year to produce some fruit, but we’re always at the mercy of the weather.

Since our trees haven’t produced anything I can’t offer any comments on their characteristics. We have Redhaven, Coralstar, Contender and Blushingstar, which is a white peach.


I am in Virginia, Zone 7 (humid) and have peaches on Lovell, Bailey, Halford, Nemaguard and peach seedling. In my climate I can see no difference other than the trees on peach seedling seem to have a more vigorous growth rate. I am in the same situation as subood_ky where only a handful of my trees are producing and they have been severally limited by late frosts killing the blooms. Citation is not an option for me unless I want to water the tree one - two months out of the year. The one rootstock I have not tried that i would like to is St Julian A.


For peaches you don’t need Citation unless you have very limited space, on any of the other rootstocks peaches can be maintained as under 10’ tall trees with a spread of 10-15 feet if they are pruned that way.

Dwarfing rootstock creates a weaker tree- if you want more varieties with less space, the best method is to learn how to do a simple graft and have more than a variety on a single tree. Peaches tend to be relatively short-lived in any case- citation likely makes them even shorter lived.


I’ve not had particularly good luck long term with the few peach trees I’ve grown on plum rootstocks (Citation and Krymsk). As mentioned, I think it makes the trees weaker and shorter lived.

It’s quite possible to keep your peach trees at any height with peach roots. We keep the maximum height at 8 feet with peach roots, so that all work can be done from the ground.

I assume you want your trees 15’ tall so you can drive your vehicles underneath, along the driveway?


It seems like Lovell is the standard for Utah, I haven’t had any problems with it on my trees. It is also easy to keep trees the size you want on Lovell with just a little pruning and it does well with the alkaline clay we have around here. I have seen peaches on the wrong root stock become severely chlorotic.
When deciding what peaches you want consider the bloom time of the peaches and your local growing conditions. Utah gets random late frosts that will wipe out your crop. It makes a difference if you live up on a hill, or down in a frost pocket. If you are in an area prone to frost I would focus on late blooming varieties like Polly, Veteran, Reliance, Redhaven, Lemon Elberta etc. It can also help to plant your trees in areas that have good thermal protection. Are there going to be any other taller trees or structures around that will help protect them from frost? I am in a frost pocket and deliberately let my trees grow as big as they can so that the top is just a few more feet off of the ground, believe it or not this seems to have worked. If you are up on a hill you can grow pretty much anything as long as it isn’t a very late variety. Like I said in the other post something that ripens a week or too after O’Henry would be about as late as you can go.
P.S. be ready to battle the green aphids and thrips in the spring they can be pretty nasty but are controlable with Dawn dish soap.


Thanks for bringing this up Carrie. I have same problem and was thinking to replace my two multi Grafted Peach Nectarine on Citation. Both grew fine and produced about dozen fruits each. But now they look very sick. These planted March 2017. I am thinking to replace these with Lovell rootstock and kind of confused to wait or do it next year. I would love to hear from people who have older multi grafted peach Nectarine on Citation. I took these pictures today.



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Thank you, everyone for your responses! After combing through so many pages of orchard and agriculture descriptions it was nice to have easily digestible answers.
@Olpea - yes, I would like the trees to be tall enough to clear my husband’s truck so we can allow the branches to overhang and utilize the dead space along our driveway.

@gregkdc - thank you for your area specific input. We used to have an apricot that had its blossoms wiped out before the borers got it.

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My Nectaplum on Citation runted out, partly because I didn’t water it enough but mainly because I think there is considerable incompatibility. My Arctic Star grew even slower. My next Peach/Nectarine will be on Lovell or Peach seedlings I’ve dug up.

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Polly is one that sounds like it would be good for my area (Ohio), but I don’t know of anyone growing it here. How late does it ripen? How does it taste?