Southwest ohio Chill hrs and peach trees variety


I think that most here would state a concern that late frosts will take out your fruit set is about whether the variety is cold-hardy (or late blooming). I’ll defer to @Drew51 and those closer to your locale to weigh in on particular varieties to address that concern. This thread probably has some useful information for you.

As an aside, there is a tendency, particularly in old varieties, that high chill varieties bloom later and ripen later, but modern breeding has done a good amount to isolate chilling requirement and you cannot say now that a variety with a lower chilling requirement will be an early bloomer. The Mericrest nectarine, for instance, is very cold hardy and a late bloomer, but does well in temperate California areas.

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I am close to Dayton so I have had very good success with the Contender and Redhaven peaches. I just put in a Flaming Fury peach ( 35-007- Fat Lady) last year. The FF 35-007 is one of the latest ripening peaches of the Flaming Fury series. I wanted a peach that was later than the Contender and Redhaven. Those two ripen mid July and the end of July. About 10-14 days apart. Sort of too close together in a way. I made a lot of peach preserves last year because of all the peaches I had at during those that two week period ( not complaining though). I canned about 30 lbs of peaches plus more that we ate fresh, make pies/cobblers with. The Flaming Fury Fat Lady 35-007 ripens about 41+ - days after the Redhaven.
***The only thing to watch for is that most peaches bloom about the time we get a late frost or freeze in the area. So you have to be prepared to cover them with sheets or some other sort of cover to keep the blossoms from freezing out during that time. It always seems to happen in our area. Just a FYI.
I bought my Redhaven and Condender from Stark Brothers and the Flaming Fury Fat Lady 35-007 from Boyer Nurseries in PA. I think Boyer Nurseries has very nice trees when they ship them. The FF tree was very thick and sturdy when I received it. I highly recommend them for nursery stock.
People either like or dislike Stark Brothers nursery for buying trees. I personally have always had good luck with the products I have bought from them over the years.
There are other good nurseries out there as well. I have found some smaller family owned nurseries to buy my trees from since joining this site I did not know existed. I prefer buying from the smaller family owned nurseries but sometimes the do not have the trees I want at the times I want or need to order them.

Another issue to mention: the trees were off this last year by about two to three weeks for some reason, probably the crazy sort of weather we had in the spring. Everything seemed to ripen here earlier.


Some of the Friday trees are excellent but not all. I have PF Lucky 13. The peach is super mild, my wife likes it, but I find it rather bland for my tastes, I plan to top work most of it over with other peaches. I will leave one scaffold. It’s not like it is bad, It is just not my cup of tea.
@Olpea is familiar with many of them, he may have suggestions for ones to try. Or at least mention what works for him.

On rootstock i like Lovell. I keep them at about 7 feet tall. Do not get citation, in your area it will do poorly. Most others will work, avoid Guardian too. Great for the southeast, but not us. It seems Adams as typical is out of about everything decent. Many other tree nurseries are around too.
I would take my time and google all choices before you buy, and search here too!
Scott has rated peaches for over a decade and puts out a list of what has been working for him on this board.
Here is one from 2015


Most will yes, or can but not all. Many are not tested. I tested Spice Zee Nectaplum with 250 chill hours and it has fruited fine here every year. It does not bloom early either. So it’s not absolute, but I would not buy any with 300 or less unless the description says high chill adaptable. Dave Wilson Nurseries thanks to my input and others has added that to their description of the Nectaplum. Dave Wilson has it’s own forums and I have been a member there longer then here. Not much activity there, but nice to have direct access to the nursery folks who listen to what we say (and thank us too!).


What peaches do you like that you grow at your place in MI? I’m trying to find some that have that real peach flavor not just sweet. Redhaven seems to taste good here for me. /i hate to grow just so-so peaches or ant other fruit for that matter. Why keep a tree that has fruit that is just so-so. I can find plenty of that in the grocery stores.


You’ve gotten good advice on this thread, imo.

Some of that series which have worked for me so far are, PF7a, PF9a-007, PF15a, PF17, PF25, PF35-007.

Of those, I probably like PF25, and PF35-007 the best for productivity in adverse conditions, so far.

Ones I don’t like, which deserve special mention are PF28-007, PF24-007, PF1, PF5b

There are some others I’m withholding an opinion on at this point.


Thanks Olpea, I’m going to keep that info so I can refer to it in the future.

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I have not grown that many yet. Redhaven only. Now I have others but they are small grafts. The ones I mentioned earlier should all work here, and should all fit the bill
Carolina Gold
Ernie’s choice
Red Skin
rio oso gem

The best of these would be Ernie’s Choice, Carolina Gold, and Rio Oso Gem seem to be very high quality yellows. The reds (haven, skin) are dependable and very good too from all reports.
Others like O’Henry are great too but very susceptible to Bacterial Spot.
Another that has ornamental appeal, and a very good peach is Red Baron.
After researching a lot those look like good ones to me. At least worth trying, one can always top work a tree. One I want to try in this area is June Pride it looks great! None of these will be anything like the supermarket
I have only grown PF lucky 13 and Indian Free for a long time. All others are too new to comment on. Indian Free is a white peach with red flesh and is very acidic and high sugar too. It’s NOT your traditional yellow, but it is an exceptional peach.
It ripens super late here, so no colder than my zone (6a/5b)
Here is a photo of some frozen to use in smoothies or for cooking. Photo taken a second ago.

For me even better is Arctic Glo nectarine. Nectarines are harder to grow.
Also a white with red flesh. It is more balanced with less acid than Indian Free, which has more acid than any other peach I have ever tried. Arctic Glo is still high acid If the white with low acid appeal to you, you don’t want these two.
I got a good haul last season, this is about 1/4 the total harvest of Arctic Glo last year. I hand these out only to good friends, and none are ever left to freeze. I have people asking me if they’re ripe yet!


Olpea , what dose one look for to say this is a good peach I google varieties such as Alberta seem to be good one and many others. I will try the ones everyone suggested . do you suggest dwarf,semi or regular size .someone said in the above he keeps his a about 7 feet tall would that be a regular size that he trims back to 7 feet .I understand thinning out and pruning that helps make better fruit I guess .also how long after you plant one will you get harvest guess that depend on variety .also when I buy it seems grafted is the way to go. Should I get small trees like 1 or 2 feet or get big trees I was told buy Small ones not sure if I buy that .thanks for your help please directed me on any of this

TY for your reply. I have heard very good things about Ernie’s Choice and also Arctic Glo. I was not sure if I could grow necterine’s here. I read an article about it growing so well out on California I was afraid I’d be disappointed if I tried to grow it here. Glad to see you have had success with it there in MI.

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Thanks, yes nectarines are hard to grow, but if you are on top of the pests it can be done.
I like nectarines better than peaches, I have wood to a few more traditional nectarines. I also grow Spice Zee Nectaplum which is a glorified nectarine. The first two fruiting years I thought the fruit was rather bland. I was thinking of pulling the tree out. Last year it didn’t flower that much, it was really strange, instead only about 1/3 of the flowers of the year before. They grew into fruit and they were incredible! It makes me think that thinning is everything. My wife told me never to get rid of that tree! It was her favorite fruit of the year. Large suckers too!


Great looking fruit. My mother always liked nectarines better than peaches. She said she didn’t like the peach fuzz and preferred the taste of nectarines better.

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The fuzz protects the fruit, it seems plum curcullo goes after my nects and leaves the peaches alone. Although i spray, I can see hits, but only ever found one larvae. So I’m not changing my spray program!


That’s a good question, and a subjective one. Many people want the best flavored peach. But that’s pretty hard to define as people’s tastes are different. Sugar content of the fruit is generally a pretty big factor but not the only factor for flavor, so it’s hard to single out varieties which please everyone’s palate.

For myself, I try to please my palate, because I find if it pleases my palate, it pleases the palate of most of my customers. This method does get a little less reliable with white peaches, as I don’t really like many white peaches, but some customers do.

For myself, I’ve found most yellow peaches (but not all) will produce a very nicely flavored peach if it ripens without too much rain.

In general, early and midseason peaches are more juicy, whereas late peaches are generally firmer and not quite as juicy. Also early and later peaches tend not to be quite as sweet to me, vs. some of the midseason peaches. Some new peach enthusiasts might read that as not to grow any early, or late season peaches, because they are no good, but they would be wrong.

Early season peaches are harder for me to get the flavor up, because of heavy rainfall when they ripen, but some varieties are acceptable, or quite good. Late season peaches tend to be a little less sweet tasting, but are loaded with peach flavor. Late season peaches, though not quite as juicy as earlier peaches, are still plenty juicy and delicious.

Flavor is just one category in which to base an evaluation. Production is another consideration to me. Perhaps this is less of a consideration for backyard growers, but even for some hobbyists, it’s worth noting.

Some peaches just don’t produce much at all for me, if weather conditions are the least bit challenging. Coralstar is an example for my area (although it should be noted some members of this forum have indicated Coralstar produces abundantly for them, but I have to evaluate how it does here for me).

Lastly, but not necessarily less important, is how the variety tolerates bacterial spot, which is a big issue here, but not so much for many backyard growers.

Some varieties, like the yellow, Sweet Scarlet, and many whites, and California varieties, absolutely suck at bac. spot tolerance. Sweet Scarlet was so bad. I had 5 trees for 5 years and maybe sold a handful of peaches off them. Seriously. Here’s a thread I wrote some about them, if interested:

Back to, “What does one look for in a good peach?” For me, its a combination of those factors mentioned above mostly. I want a peach which is not a dog in flavor (it happens, but not too common), a peach which will produce some crop in adverse weather, and has a fair amount of marketable fruit in high bac. spot disease pressure.

Those are the three biggies for me. However, I might sacrifice one category, if the other two are high enough. For example, I have a peach which I love for flavor, but it’s terrible for bac. spot. That variety I’ve relegated to growing in my backyard (5 trees) because backyard bac. spot pressure is less, and I can easily keep those trees sprayed with an antibiotic. I wouldn’t dare grow this variety at the farm.

In a different category is Loring, which can be very unproductive with adverse weather, but the size and flavor are good enough I have kept them (even though I may change my mind at some point in the future).

So the evaluation gets fuzzy and subjective depending on how much one values a trait over another.

For the Midwest, I would suggest standard size peaches on standard peach rootstocks. Peaches on standard roots can easily be kept at pedestrian height with proper pruning. I do it all the time.

No, it doesn’t depend on variety, but on how the peach tree is managed. Proper management includes a weed free zone past the drip line for young trees, properly drained soil, and a soil with adequate fertility. Here a mulched, and/or tilled soil will produce peaches the third year. Sometimes the second year if a lot of nitrogen is added.

Yes, peaches, and any of the more common fruit trees should be grafted (apple, pear, etc., if you want the variety to have a high chance of producing a top line fruit). A non-grafted fruit tree (to borrow a line) is like buying a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get, which is why we reserve those for Valentines day. The day you want surprises in food (or clothing).

I buy the smallest peach trees possible because I’ve found if I do the things mentioned above, they grow very vigorously. I specifically order the smallest peach trees when I order patented varieties from a nursery.

Slower starting things like apple/pear have an advantage starting out with bigger stock. Peaches, not so much.


Super good advice Olpea, excellent. Right on the money. Here bac spot isn’t too bad. Seen it once…

One thing I will add from a backyard perspective it is nice to cover the whole season. So having 3 trees one would want an early, mid, and late ripening. I often forget about this as it was one of the first things I did. So having the season covered already I now I’m looking for taste,reliable productivity, and good size . Willing to sacrifice size if the other two conditions are met…

It is decent! You know these heirloom peaches are around for a reason. In some areas you will see ripening charts that list peaches as days before or after Redhaven. In other areas, days after or before Elberta. I’m interested in Redskin which is cross of Redhaven and Elberta. Hey, the best of both worlds! I tried grafting it, and got unlucky. I know more now. I grabbed a lot of peach scion this year, but not that one, oh well, no room left anywhere on my trees till i add another! :slight_smile:

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Drew, I have a bunch of Redskin if you do want it this year. I’m back after a long absence (illness, but nothing serious, just long) after seeing that I really need to offer scionwood to folks instead of pitching it out. My trees are getting big, and that’s so exciting :slight_smile:

Thanks, I should probably take you up if you don’t mind? I’ll PM you tomorrow., Yes it is nice after waiting and mine took forever due to super bad weather and my bad luck. At last the last few years have been sweet.

Great information Olpea. It does help to read what others here are saying about these issues. Saves a lot of time instead of doing something that does not work before you do it.

I ditto what Drew51 mentioned about expanding your peach season with three different varieties. I also agree with you about the tree peach factors I looked for. Size was not the primary thing I looked for. Taste was #1 and productivity was #2. A big tasteless peach you get only a dozen off a tree you plant is a waste of growing space IMO.

The thing with peaches is once they start ripening you HAVE to do something with them all.
I thought I may not get a lot of peaches off my peach trees. I live in an area that may or may not get many peaches. It is because of the frosts/freezes we get at peach blossom time. I ordered 4 trees, three different varieties and ripening times. The peaches were plentiful last year. Many more than what I imagined I would be getting on four year old peach trees. Not complaining mind you, just a lot of work to get them all processed before they were too ripe to use. I made a lot of peach preserves.

Just something to think about when ordering or growing peach trees.


I am in NE Ohio, a little colder than you but otherwise similar. Veteran, Madison, Contender, Red Haven are some standard peaches recommended for our area and in my experience they do pretty well contending with frost in the spring, though not always. There is a good chance that you have soggy soil much of the year, especially in the spring. Peach trees don’t do well in poorly drained soil. If this is the case, consider planting your trees in a raised mound. A 6’ diameter circle 12-18" high would be good. This has worked well for me in my wet soil so far. Good Luck!


Good suggestions for the tree varieties and about the raised beds. We (OHIO) do get a lot of rain in the spring and lots of soggy ground. Such as we are getting all the rain now. My yard is soggy and I have standing water that has been here all week long, in February! I have my peach trees on the top of a small little hill I have specifically because of the wet feet these trees would get if I had them in other areas on my property.