Peach Tree Bud Swell/Pink/Bloom - late varieties


I am watching my Peach Trees closer this year to see which varieties bloom later and which bloom earlier. The varieties with no pink in the bud and little or no swell include Black Boy, Indian Blood Cling, Elberta, Gloria, Intrepid, Encore, Red Haven and Contender. All my other varieties have pink in the buds with the most advanced being BlushingStar (It looks ready to bloom), Victoria, Rich May and Desiree. While it is only showing a little pink my Reliance trees both show pink in the buds which is disappointing for a winter hardy variety. Would love to hear from others which varieties show pink early or bloom late.


Currently Rich May, Redskin, and O’ Henry are unfortunately blooming.
Clayton, Challenger, and Winblo are close to blooming.
The best performing varieties with little to no pink are Contender, Intepred, Indian Free, and Oldmixon Free.

The blooming seems to be 1 to 2 weeks ahead of schedule this year. Last year I lost about all my plum crop and around 75% of my peach crop to late March freezes. I have pretty much written off my plums again this year, we shall see on the peaches.


Thanks for the info. guys. Of the ones mentioned I have Redskin scions and am thinking it’s not one for here in 5b IL. I also have many of the ones you guys listed. Thankfully, Redskin is the only one of my pile of peach scions.



My latest look to be Elberta and JH Hale, each with their first open bloom today. We’re early again this year because of odd warm spells in Feb.

My Redskin has branches with blooms that are open (for several days now) and also a lot of really tight buds on other branches or lower down.


Redskin is one of my earliest bloomers, but strangely it is also one of the most reliable in less than optimum spring weather. I’ve fruited the variety for about 10 years and it’s produced some crop every year, even though we’ve had some fairly ugly spring weather during those years.

I think it’s key may be that it blooms over a long period of time. Perhaps it also may be that the flowers are more frost tolerant.

North Carolina claims some of their latest released peaches (Challenger, Intrepid) have flowers which will survive cold temperatures which would be injurious to other peach flowers. We tend to think all peach flowers are equally frost tolerant or sensitive, but apparently that’s not so.


That is an interesting observation Mark, last year again my O’Henry was also one of the 1st to bloom and was at close to full bloom in late March when the temps got down into the low 20’s, yet had one of the best crops of my 12 varieties. Maybe it was a fluke thing, suspect I will find out soon enough, the current forecasted low for this Thursday is around 26.


Here in California, some of my peaches, plums and nectarines started blooming in early February, then got hit with some night time temps as low as 28 degrees. How much of those temps can blossoms handle before damage occurs? Would it matter whether the buds had opened or not? It might not matter if bees were not flying, but on a couple of warmer afternoons my bees were working and returning to the hive laden with pollen.

On another note, since my trees had started to bloom in early February, would any additional chill hours have any effect on production? What is the effect of insufficient chill hours? Curtailed bloom, curtailed fruit production or what?

Also if anyone can spare Rich May scions I would really appreciate them.


They do go down in hardiness the more open the bloom is. I don’t have the critical temperature chart handy, but I think 28 just makes the cutoff for being safe at all bloom stages :slight_smile: Or it was only 10% damage, I forget which. But overall I think you’re still looking good.

The temps are different for different fruit, too. Someone posted a good link to a chart in the last day or so.

Edit - Adding that I don’t know about chill hours. We always get more than enough here in NC for what I grow.


I have Rich May but I just planted last year and it did not grow worth a darn so no scion wood. This year I will fertilize the heck out of it and see what happens. As far as temps go there is a chart by MSU that shows damage at different stages of bud/bloom hardiness. I think if you Google MSU Bud Chart you will find the link. I have found in my limited experience that some buds with pink or blooms will survive in the lower mid 20’s. Once fruit sets frost or freezing and below wrecks havoc.


Putting aside bloom time how does O’Henry do for you? Like the taste?


Hi Chris -

Where did you get your OldMixon Free Peach?




O’Henry is one of my best tasting peaches, I think it is a California bread peach that can be challenging to grow in humid areas without a regular spray program.

OldMixon Free peach was purchased around 5 years ago from Albemarleciderworks, not sure if they still offer it.


It is. I’ve grown it for quite a while. It’s one of the best tasting peaches for the Encore window, probably the best. I also like the very globose shape. In terms of the quality of the peach - taste, appearance, it’s top notch. The problem for me is that it hasn’t been super productive in marginal weather, and it is bac. spot susc.

I’ve tried a few peaches for that Encore window (Messina, PF27a, PF28-007) and all of them have production problems for that window. Encore is very productive, but the taste quality (i.e. sugar) can sometimes be poor. I have about 10 trees of O’henry I’d like to replace with something that produces a good flavored peach which produces here with some consistency. I’m currently trialing Augustprince, but I’m not even sure it ripens quite with Encore.


How do you think PF 24-007 might do up here, Mark?



PF 24-007 sucks, on many levels. It hardly sets anything. I had another commercial grower friend who tried it quite a few years ago and told me it wasn’t worth planting, but I tried it anyway (can’t remember whether it was one or two trees I tried). Because I’m such a Missouri (“show me” State) guy I wanted to try it for myself. The short of it was that the variety was very unproductive here.

As I recall, this is one of Paul Friday’s “plant and pick” varieties (no thinning needed). You can be assured “plant and pick” is a marketing term which really means “plant and forget harvesting” because there is nothing to harvest. I wouldn’t recommend this variety coming from a “show me” boy who tried it out here.

Don’t confuse it with other 007 varieties. Some of the same genetics involved in 24-007 are involved in other varieties, nevertheless some of them are very different (genetic shuffling mixes up genes in plants sometimes as much as parents genes in their offspring). I’m pretty fond of 35-007 so far. I’ve also planted some 19-007 to see how they compare with Contender. As mentioned, I don’t like 28-007. PF 9a-007 is a pretty decent peach.


Thank you, Mark.



Has anyone tried Golden Jubilee Or Fingerlakes Hardy Peach Tree? Curious if they are late bloomers, bloom hardy or just survive in Zone 4/5 type climates.


So I checked my trees again - Hale Haven has the most advanced bloom (some buds are unfolding to bloom) followed by Blushingstar and Belle of Georgia.
Red Haven, Indian Blood Cling, Gloria, Intrepid, and Gold Prince have the least advanced buds followed by Encore, Contender, Black Boy and Elberta which are showing pink at the tips maybe a little further advanced on some… Trees like Desiree, Victoria and Coral star are well advanced showing lots of pink. Reliance is somewhere in the middle.

I am not sure if the size/age of the tree affects how earlier a tree buds/blooms but Red Haven, Indian Blood Cling, Gloria, Intrepid, and Gold Prince are all small trees, all going on second year planted except for the Red Haven which is going on third year planted.


So it looks like the winners this year for late bloom are Gloria and Red Haven. Both have the tightest buds out of all my trees at this stage,some of my other trees are in full bloom. The others mentioned previously - Indian Blood Cling, Intrepid, Encore, Contender, Black Boy and Elberta look good but a step ahead of Gloria and Red Haven in bud/bloom progression. Both Gloria and Red Haven are small trees, not sure if that has any bearing on blossom time.


I’m in 5b and I plan to graft Redskin, GA is pretty far south of me. I would expect them to be way ahead of me. It’s half Red Haven developed right here in MI.