Top-working Peach and need guidance

Hello all. I grafted peaches for the first time last year and had some success (~50%). Also, my largest 3rd leaf peach, which is about 8x8’, finally produced last year and it became apparent that it is not indeed Contender as the nursery labelled it (as it only had ~10-20% blush and didn’t ripen until mid October!). The reputable nursery happily sent me a replacement this spring and informed me they became aware that half their ‘Contenders’ that year (from another nursery) weren’t Contender and didn’t key out to any known variety of peach.

The issue is I have my orchard rows organized by harvest date and this sub-par October peach is occupying prime mid-late August territory. Additionally, I hate to waste this well-established tree so I am planning to top-work this variety to Contender. The issue is that it is 4" in diameter and I’m not sure how to approach grafting it over. Chop it and bark graft? I haven’t ever done any budding, but maybe that would be a better option? Anyone with experience who can guide me to make the best of this established stock?

Thanks in advance,
Kirk

You can’t bud peaches on older wood. You could bud if you cut the tree down and a strong shoot arose. T or chip bud it the same yr. T budding doesn’t take with thick bark.

I’d try Bark grafting now. If that fails hopefully you’ll get a low shoot. Then T bud on that in early to mid summer. If that fails chip bud in fall. If that fails try grafting again the next spring. Eventually something will stick.

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Bark grafting is an excellent choice for peaches, I get as good an odds with that as with any other method. I use it on trunks from 1/2" to 4" in diameter. Just make sure to do it early and with plenty of around-70F weather in the next 2-3 days.

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Thanks, gents! Sounds like a good plan of action. I will give it a go and report back.

Cheers,
Kirk