PF 24C disappointment

PF24C is supposed to be super cold hardy. It’s promoted by Paul Friday as such, and I know of one commercial grower who claimed it was cold hardy for him.

I’ve got two of these trees now in their 5th year, and they’ve not produced much of anything, despite good sized trees.

I spoke about this with another grower who has a small block of these trees and he sees the same thing. This variety isn’t any more cold hardy than any other peach, and less so than some.

I’ve got these two trees with Julyprince, next to them, then Veteran, then Babygold. All those other trees are the same age, and have full crops.

I don’t know if you can see it from these pics, but here a pic of a typical 24C (most of the tree blank)

Here’s Julyprince right next to it (lots of thinning required)

I’m become disappointed with a good many of the PF varieties. I’m starting to think Paul Friday is a better marketer than a peach breeder.


My 24C has done well. A few winters ago, every stone fruit in this part of the country got wiped out. The following year, which was almost as cold, almost stone fruit in my yard got wiped out but not 24 C. It had about 20% bloooms.

I got my tree from Cummins in 2010. These past couple of years, it had some trunk issue and has had reduced vigor. I think it may last a few more years at most. Even with that it produced well last year with good size fruit. We don’t have a lot of experience tasting many peaches like you do but everyone I gave them to, love it.

This year, we had only 3 days of very cold weather, Jan1 (-5), Jan 6 (-4) and Jan 7 (-9) so that’s not too bad. It is flowering well right now.


Good examples as the tree should work in both locations, but appears not to. I guess all gardening is local and you have to test yourself.

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We need to follow this up (or I need to, with pictures if I can remember). My peach trees are done blooming, but I don’t recall the blooms of my two 24c looking like that. I think the petals on mine were a little smaller.

Maybe yours or mine are a mislabel. Do you know when your 24c ripens in reference to some other peaches? Mine ripens +24 (Redhaven) here. Autumnstar ripens +43 here, so my 24c ripens 19 days before Autumnstar.

Also can you tell me where you got yours? I got mine from Vanwell.

Mine was from Cummins.

I don’t have Redhaven until this year ( just grafted) so I can’t compare. I picked 24 C before Autumn Star. I am on the road. When I get home, I will tell you the dates. I wrote them down.

The flowers seemed big could be because of a camera angle. It is the same size as Gold Dust that I grafted it on (non-showy).

Ido like my 24 C. I can send you some wood if you want to bud the variety I have.

Thanks Tippy.

Maybe it could be the camera angle. I know we’ve compared notes before on 24c and had different results from the variety. I wish I would have thought of photographing blooms before.

It could be the answer to this bit of a mystery.

One other thing we can check are the leaf glands after the leaves develop.

According to the patent the variety has some unusual leaf glands. Here’s what it says.

“Number of glands.—Uniquely one on each side of top part of petiole, occassionally an additional One or two on the basil part of leaf.
Gland shape.—Slightly elongated, very shallow.”

It sounds like the glands are globose (vs. eglandular or reniform). I know I’ve used that before to help identify peaches. I don’t know if my leaves are developed enough right now, but will look.

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We have talked about your 24 C and mine a few times before. They seem to be different. Not sure because of our different weather patterns or we have different varieties. At least, we are in the same zone!!

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Now, Mark, you made me look up a dictionary to figure out what are those plant’s anatomy. I need a picture dictionary, too :smile:

My 24 C ripened about 7-10 days before Autumn Star.

Last year we picked 24 C around Sept 10 and Autumn Star around Sept 17. I let my peaches stayed on the trees, very long, too long, I believe.

I have been following your posts for years. Extremely helpful!!! (In many ways I find your experiences with varieties that you have pulled out to be as helpful or more so than the varieties you have had success with - thank you for all of the great info).
I live in Spokane Wa and owned a Redhaven for years. When I moved to a new house about 6 years ago, I decided to expand the backyard peach orchard. I got sucked in by all of the Paul Friday advertising and planted the following: PF 5D Big, Redhaven, Sweet Cap, PF 24C Cold Hardy, PF Fat Lady, and PF Big George. Here are my experiences:

PF 5D Big: Good size for an early peach. Good looking. No mealiness. No bacterial spot problems. Did not have a bad enough winter to evaluate winter hardiness. I replaced this peach with an Early Readhaven 2 years ago because it had poor flavor too often.

Redhaven: I have grown this peach for years and cannot imagine not having one. It is the standard for a reason. Requires a lot of thinning every year to get good size. No mealiness! This is a backyard tree, I like to let my peaches hang until they are soft ripe and it never disappoints. Negligible bacterial spot. Some split pits. I let this tree set too much fruit 4 years ago and broke a scaffold limb. I removed much of the fruit and deck screwed the limb back on the tree. Thought I got away with it because it fruited well for 2 years, but the winter of 16/17 was long and cold. I lost that limb and part of another, along with my 2 year old Canadian White Blenhiem Apricot tree.

Sweet Cap: Large white fleshed peento peach. I figured I was getting a Saturn only bigger. This variety is very vigorous, produces a large peach and tries to over set. Does get a little bacterial spot. (Honestly, Spokane is so dry in the Summer, we don’t get hit too hard. 17 inches annually). It can crack a little on the bottom near the pit, especially if you allow one to grow with the bottom facing up. I removed this tree because the flavor was no where near as good as Saturn. I did so before the 16/17 winter.

PF 24C Cold Hardy: This tree has done well for me. It is very flavorful - lots of sugar and acid. It is my wife’s favorite for taste. It came through the 16/17 winter very well. The tree is vigorous, but the thing that sets this tree apart from the rest of my trees is the number of blooms. Way more than Redhaven. Frankly, thinning this tree is way more work than any other tree I own. It has non-showy pink blossoms similar to Redhaven. No bacterial spot. No split pits. No mealiness. Not quite as juicy as Redhaven, but close. Seems to ripen about 24 days after Redhaven as advertised. I think I purchased from Vanwell, but not 100% sure.

PF Fat Lady: Vigorous tree. Big beautiful peaches. It was a winner in every respect except for the fact that i like to let them hang until soft ripe. This one always turned mealy for me. I pulled this tree out because of that. If, before I removed this tree, I had read some of your posts with respect to picking some varieties a little earlier and letting them finish on the counter, I might have avoided the mealiness issue. I put an O’Henry in it’s place. (Note: Although not bad, this young O’Henry tree is more susceptible to bacterial spot than any other tree I have).

PF Big George: Large good looking peach. At 50 days past Redhaven, it might be too late for this far North? It would lose many leaves prior to getting ripe and never would develop really good flavor. Other than that it performed well. Pulled it out before the 16/17 winter.

I have not kept the meticulous records that you have, so I had to look up the low temps for the 16/17 winter. Had about 2 weeks of sub zero temps. Some days in December, most in January. Our lowest night was -7. As I said, I did lose 1 young apricot and a damaged limb from my Redhaven. Zero damage to the PF 24C. However, I have yet to experience any late, bloom killing, frosts so far.

Hope this helps a little.

Kevin Barron


I also have a PF 24 C and it’s on 3rd leaves. I got it from Cummins too. Last year was the first time we had fruit on it and the taste was really good, sweet with some acid. Last two years, we did not have any very cold winter (lowest -10F) so not sure how cold hardy it is. The only problem I had is that lots of clear gel will get out of the trunk after a heavy rain. It will be in full bloom very soon and I will upload a picture.

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You must have planted them in the spring of 2015. It was the winter of 2014-2015 that did in stone fruit in the northeast. It was not the cold winter per se. It was the warm Feb followed by freezing cold March to caused wide spread damage. The winter of 2015-2016 had a similar pattern but not long or as bad. That’s how I know that 24 C was bud hardy enough not to get total loss.

It is the yo-yo weather that causes far more damage to fruit trees than just plain cold weather.

I took those pics this morning. Mine is in full bloom now so I am a few days ahead of you.

Yeah, I just checked my order, I planted in 2015 (ordered in 2014). It’s pretty good to have fruit at 2nd leaves. I did not leave many peaches on the tree last year, and will leave more this year.

Wow Kevin! That is quite a report. I hope you don’t wait quite so long to post your next one :wink:

Seriously, I appreciate reading about your experience with those peaches. I’ve tried most of them, except 5D Big and Big George.

Imo, Redhaven is one of the most underappreciated peaches (at least as grown here in the Midwest - and sounds like that’s so for the Northwest too). It almost always produces a good crop here, and when properly thinned (tends to overset here too) produces fruit with good sweetness, nice size and beautiful color.

Mmm. That sort of seems to sound a bit too late to account for regional differences. I don’t know.

I looked at the leaves of my 24c today and couldn’t identify the leaf glands. They were too small for my eyes.

I’ve read more than once that varieties get mixed up at the nursery level and get propagated that way for years. It’s actually happened with one of the PF varieties before. According to a vid with Jerry Frecon (someone posted on the forum) PF Eightball got mixed up and growers were getting some peach other than Eightball.

Yours acts more like the 24C in terms of cold hardiness. Lets compare notes on the leaf glands when they show up.

Sure. We will compare note. I have my hubby looked up all those descriptions you mentioned so I got a better idea now. My 24 C is busy flowering so the leaves are just emerging.

Also, my way of picking peaches are much later than average person does, I believe. All my peaches were in bags. I would wait until I saw the first peach dropped in the bag before I start picking. I got fully ripe peaches but the downside was those peaches could not be kept more than a few days.

I won’t do that this year. This year, I hope I can find where I grafted my Redhaven on the tree. Then, once I picked Redhaven, I will count days to pick 24 C and Autumn Star.

Last year, I also had Gold Dust, Ernie’s Chice and Madison. This year, I will have Winblo, too.

I only wish ANY of my peaches had blossoms like that Mamuang!

It’s still early here yet, but I don’t hold out much hope for peaches this year. (Well I hope, but I don’t really believe…)

Redhaven hasn’t shown a single flower, nor has Contender. (And I think I have some winter-kill limbs on RH)

On the other hand: Intrepid, Madison, Reliance, PF17, Indian Free, and PF24C all have at least a few blossoms, with PF24C and Madison leading the way… with a couple dozen each from what I can tell.

We recorded a -21 for the lowest temp this winter, so I’m glad to see any blossoms. (Really glad Mark suggested most of these varieties for me to try :slightly_smiling_face:)

It may not help this discussion, but here are a couple shots of PF24C blossoms. They don’t appear nearly as nice as yours Mamuang.

The PF24C is the first one in the last picture. Even some of the grass in the orchard area winter killed.


Thank you. If my peach trees went through -21 F, the blooms could be as sparse as your, too. Of the one you grow, I don’t have Reliance and Intrepid

Your peach trees are nicely shaped/pruned. You have done good job. Mine have gotten out of hand, unfortunately. Where did you get your PF24 C from?
Please share your review of the taste during harvest time.

That’s really great your getting some blooms after -21F. Madison is a great peach. My Madison trees are loaded every year no matter what.

I just can’t explain what’s going on with my 24c, not to fit your experience and the experience of a grower who lives in northern IL, who I used to communicate via email some.

But as I mentioned another grower in KS said he saw the same thing I saw regarding 24c. No extra cold hardiness for him.

Those trees look great!