Questions not deserving of a whole thread


I grow Eberta in Virginia. This is not a normal year - mine ripened 4 weeks early and like you I lost all but 3 (picked early) to pc and squirrels. Normally Elberta are somewhere between plus 28 and plus 35 from Redhaven. Did you have an early bloom in Phili? If so your peaches will be early.


It ripens with PF 28 about. But don’t expect much coloring up. Depending on climate it can be pretty green even when ripe. Here it is not a great peach for eating off the tree. Cut mine down a few years ago. PF 28 is a better tasting peach as is O’Henry to my palate. The color is great because it discourages birds and probably squirrels at least to some degree.

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Hi, I am in a zone ahead of you but my Elberta’s do not ripen until the end of Aug. Beginning of Sept put them under barbed wire if you have squirrels! Love this peach! Juicy sweet and tangy.


Thanks for all the replies. I guess I got few more weeks to go…


Susu - My experience was somewhat difference than Alan’s. I have two Elberta trees - one I thinned the branches heavily in the spring. So the fruit was getting full sun in the pruned tree. They turned bright red/yellow and were days away from being picked (I should have picked them and put in the fridge they would have ripened). Another Elberta tree in the my yard was not pruned so many of the fruit was in the shade from the leaves on the tree - just turning yellow and some still green when the squirrels got them. I have to admit I am fascinated by the difference in the growing habits of the same varieties in different regions or in my case same yard.


Here is a thought i had.

So this winter i had posted some pics of a tree that looked like a peach…but wasn’t (imo)…something is off…the wood is wrong, the leaves are same shape as peach, but different (color/texture)…

Could this be an almond? Do California peach/nectarine orchards get cross pollinated by almonds? I say this because today i chopped down this seedling…and i kept getting a smell…it smelled just like almond extract i use in baking. Looking over the wood/branches…i’m not seeing any (dormant) fruit buds…all vegetative.



Peaches and almonds are often grown near each other in California. (Which stands to reason, as the same conditions that are good for one is good for the other.). So I don’t know if they’re specifically cross-pollinated on purpose, but I’m willing to bet it happens by accident. And then, yes, the peach and almond can produce a hybrid, which is usually a bad-tasting nut.

I don’t know if you could have used it as rootstock?

ETA: I just read almond makes a great smoking wood. Maybe you can use your downed seedling for that?


Sounds right. I’ll save the thick pieces for smoking…and get rid of the tree. I really don’t need to be experimenting with almonds up here~! Thanks.


I have a peach almond cross Reliable, the young growth does have that very strong almond smell when you break the twigs. The peach tree has a lot less noticeable smell. The leaves look slightly different than peach, they are dark green, shorter and glossy.


As you may have read, I’m having issues with my pears. It looks like I might have to replace the plant next year. I’m not too crazy about buying bareroot trees online again, I think it’d rather buy a potted plant from a store nearby. So I was in Lowes today and saw that they have giant size pear trees on sale for $6 each!! Size and the price can’t be beat. But quality of the tree is questionable. It’s covered with some sort of disease. My question to you is: how big of a mistake is it to buy one of these diseased trees? Will I be introducing stuff into my garden? Or is there a way to get rid of it before planting, meaning maybe chop off most of the branches and spray?


Don’t even think about it.


That bad huh?.. i guess I’ll forget about the size for the price :grin:


I’m going to disagree a little bit with the previous poster and say it might be worth it. After all, it’s potted, so you can keep it away from your other plants and wait until fall to plant it. That all depends on the disease, though. Some are more innocuous than others.

Another worry would be the roots. If it’s a big tree in a pot, the roots are likely to be a twisted mess, and you’ll have to extensively root prune when you plant it.

But…if you have the space and the time to mess around with this tree, depending on the disease, it might be worth it. Most bareroot places ship in the spring anyway, so if this tree doesn’t work out, you could trash it and not really be any further behind than you otherwise would be.

Just make sure:
-you recognize the disease the pear tree has, and feel confident you can handle it
-you recognize the chance that, despite your precautions, it may spread to some of your other trees
-are aware a significant minority of store trees are mislabeled as to the variety
-feel comfortable (extensively) root pruning to ensure there’s no girdling

Then for $6 I say why not?


Why not buy a diseased tree from Lowes? I wasted 5 years or more trying to grow trees from Lowes - stunted, diseased - miserable trees. To be fair my experience was related to apple trees only. I have a peach tree from Lowes that did well. If it is diseased you need to be sure it is not fireblight - if you have other trees why take the chance of introducing some disease to your existing trees? Unless you are sure it can be managed like Apple Rust?


VSOP has made a good point. However, why introducing diseased tree to your orchard? Pear Rust is a headache. There are many pear varieties that are disease resistant. You are not very far from me. My Harrow Sweet is disease resistant. It should has some disease resistance in your area.

I do not know what went wrong with your current pear trees. I am sorry they don’t look promising.

Where did you ordered your HS from and when was it delivered?


Actually, fire blight might be something I’d be more confident taking a chance on. You just cut it all out. Just keep cutting until the wood underneath no longer looks diseased. You can cut it all out. Just keep it away from your other trees until fall, and if it doesn’t come back, you should be ok.

Then again, I could be somewhat cavalier about fire blight since it is all around where I live. (Too many Cleveland pears-my neighbor has two with fireblight on them.). I can’t really escape it anyway.

If it’s not something you have anywhere around you, I too would be more hesitant about introducing it.

That’s why I said it is important to know what disease it is and your comfort level with treating it.

But that is just my perspective. I would say it would probably be safer not to take the chance, but I think it could be a good decision if you know what you’re up against and are able to cut your losses quickly if it doesn’t work out.


Thanks for the advice all. Good to get opinions on both sides. I’m very new to fruit growing and know very little about diseases and even less about thier management. I think it’s best that I forget about $6 pear trees. I’ll wait until spring and find a potted tree locally without diseases (no bare roots!) chances of me finding a HS locally is slim. But I’ll get what I can as a potted plant and then graft the varieties I want on to it.
Mamuang: I bought my HS from Schlabachs it was delivered and planted on April 1st. I called them first week of June because it had no leaves (not even the freaky looking Pom poms they have now) at that time. They said if it’s still green it might leaf out.


You should buy wherever you feel comfortable with, but I just wanted to say I think you just had an unlucky experience. I ordered 9 barefoot trees this year from 4 different places and each one leafed out. Eight of them are doing great. As for the 9th, I think it might be that I chose a bad rootstock for my area.

So if you really want a Harrow Sweet, and they don’t have it locally, don’t be too afraid of ordering online again. Some places (not most, but some) will ship in the fall, which is really the absolute best time to plant a tree. The roots have a chance to get established over the winter, and when it wakes up in the spring it’s ready to go. (Not sure where you live, though. I got the plant in the fall advice,from experts, both in PA and GA, which is zones 6-8.) I dunno if the same rules apply if you live in Maine :wink: )


I’m in PA. It should work for me then. I’ll check to see if I can find one this fall.


I’m digging maybe 8 feet from a mature tree…any harm if i’m cutting through feeder roots? Its just in one area…i’m removing a flower bed ( back to lawn)… I’d rather be doing this when the tree is dormant, but i want to get it done.