I’m in the same boat as you and considering Montrose. I believe Scott and a few others have mentioned that it’s one of the few that blooms appreciably later than other apricots. So it could be a good choice in borderline climates. Fedco is selling it on Manchurian stock, which might further help delay its blooming.
I ordered the TangOs II and Earlystar from Adams. I don’t recall ever seeing any chill hours for those varieties.
I know of one grower who grew both varieties in Tallapoosa GA (about the same latitude of Alanta). Both were also tested at Clemson, but that’s more the north part of SC.
Other peentos have pretty low chill, so my guess is that the NJF varietes are also fairly low chill. Saturn has less than 500 hrs, and Galaxy has about 250 hrs (I believe it with Galaxy because it’s the very first peach to bloom here - about a week before others start to bloom.)
I know that doesn’t answer your question, but I don’t know the specific chill hours.
I am really trying to focus on varieties which perform well in meager years. It’s not just this last year, but many years where peaches partially crop in this area. In fact, that is more the norm (partial crops) for peaches in my area, both from other growers I’ve talked to, and my own experience. A smaller percentage of the time (10 to 20 percent) there are full peach crops (or no peach crop). It’s mostly partial crops we live with.
That being the case, there are many varieties which are blank in “partial crop” years and many varieties produce full crops in “partial crop” years. The variance is astounding, when you see these varieties side by side.
I’m tired of taking care of trees which produce no real revenue. It’s been an adjustment for me as I’ve made the transition from backyard growing to commercial (still learning). As a backyard grower, the “fun aspect” of trying and keeping lots of varieties, even though they don’t produce much, becomes much less practical as a commercial grower. It takes too much time to tend unproductive trees.
So I’ve been pulling more unproductive trees, if more productive ones can be found for that window. Actually I’ve been doing this slowly for the last 3 years, just increasing scrutiny this year. I started with about 100 varieties of peaches in order to trial lots of different ones. I’ve slowly been culling a lot of those out.
I have removed a lot of white varieties, which are typically more prone to bac. spot here. I’ve also removed a lot of nects, which can fail to develop adequate sugar for me. Plus both are harder to sell (especially nects).
This year I’ve removed lots of plums, because my Euro plums are hard to sell, take a long time to produce, and don’t produce that much fruit, compared to a peach. Asian plums bloom too early for my area.
I ordered more Intrepid and Challenger to replace some peaches in their windows. Challenger fruited for the first time this summer, and it was very good. I haven’t fruited Intrepid yet, but have had enough good experiences with NC peaches, I ordered more Intrepid based on NC’s claims.
Here are some varieties I got rid of this year.
Johnboy (removed some Johnboy, but kept some in the higher spot of the orchard)
Ernies Choice (like Johnboy, removed the Ernies choice in the lower part of the orchard, but kept some in the upper part)
Lady Nancy (removed several but kept a couple)
Coe’s Golden drop
Castleton (kept one tree for pollination)
Long John (kept one tree for pollination)
Several mislabled plums
I removed a few summer apples too.
I wish some university would do this research for my area, it would have been worth thousands of dollars to me. But I’m not aware of any comprehensive research which has been done on the reliability of today’s peach varieties in marginal climates. There are bits and pieces of information out there, but nothing trialing lots of varieties for both cold hardiness and good cropping in marginal spring weather. On top of that, some of the information out there is not that accurate.
One thing I have learned is that occasionally I’ve read descriptions of varieties which are “plant and pick” meaning no thinning needed. Translation = doesn’t produce enough to feed a squirrel
Thanks for that detailed response. I think I understand your situation, as you’re getting more into commercial growing. What might be a good tasty peach to you, may not look too good to a person who would rather have a pretty looking fruit. I know all folks aren’t like that, but I’d think a normal Joe Customer might be.
I guess schools in your area, like KU, K State, Missouri or Nebraska, etc don’t see peaches as a regionally important crop to do studies on. Maybe I’m speaking out of ignorance, but perhaps they’re more focused on veggies like corn, wheat, soybeans, etc, as opposed to fruit.
I did find a good study that UK did about hardiness and performance of certain peach and nect cultivars. It may not apply to your area, but I found it interesting.
You have some other UNC trees like Contender, right? I think you’ve said they’ve done well for you. I’ve heard good reviews on Intrepid from various sites, Challenger not too much.
Hate to hear about your white peach issues, I planted a Blushingstar this year, and I have a Coralstar, planted last year. Why are you getting rid of CS? I know we’re in quite different areas, so maybe those two will do OK for us.
Not that they would sell well for you, but have you considered apricots, or would it be too risky for your climate?
Planning to get another couple of apple trees, Anna and Tropic Sweet.
That’s true, but not actually is what’s driving my cultivar choices. My top criteria for a peach in no particular order are:
Some tolerance to bac. spot
If a peach/nect doesn’t meet any one of those criteria, I don’t want to grow it. For example, I had some early peaches which were productive and good res. to bac. spot, but (like many early peaches) didn’t taste that good because I couldn’t get the sugar up.
I’ve gotten rid of lots of very early peaches for this reason (PF1, PF5b, Desiree, Early Red Fre, ect.) Earlystar is the best very early flavored yellow peach I’ve grown. Spring snow is by far the best flavored early white peach (and probably the best flavored white peach of any harvest window).
Likewise I’ve gotten rid of peaches which are highly susc. to bac. spot, and/or are unproductive.
Appearance and size are important, but not nearly so, as the previous criteria mentioned. I tolerate some pretty ugly peaches (like Redskin) or even smaller peaches, if they can meet or excel in taste, production and bac. spot resistance.
I’ve seen that one, and it’s a good one for starters. But the main problem is they rate just on hardiness, and spring frosts typically take every bit as much or more of the crop than winter lows (although winter lows can be a serious problem too).
What I need are trees with tough flower buds and bloom late (or bloom over a long period of time). That’s what makes for good cropping potential.
Additionally, UK has some incorrect information in their table (from my experience). A couple of examples, they list Redhaven and Redskin as F+ and F. But I’ve cropped both of these for almost a decade, and they both produce when few else will, regardless if it’s cold winter temps or a crappy spring. They list Bounty as G, and Bounty has been a pretty horrible producer for me.
Yes, I also have Carolina Gold and Clayton. I’m pretty pleased with those as well. Carolina Gold doesn’t set nearly as well as Contender, but it did a decent job this year (in a challenging year).
Btw, have you read any bad reviews on Challenger, or just not any good reviews?
I got rid of Blushingstar because I had terrible bac. spot issues with it. You likely won’t experience that with a home orchard. Bac. spot is a much bigger issue at the farm, than in my backyard orchard. I also got rid of Blushingstar because of flavor. It had that typical non-acid white peach flavor, without a lot of sugar. If I want the non-acid flavor, I’d at least like to see a sugar buzz with it. Something like Saturn has that, so I have quite a few of those.
Coralstar just wasn’t productive for me at all. Produces big tasty peaches, probably because it doesn’t produce very many. @alan has Coralstar, and he’s not seemed to indicate it’s a poor producer for him, that I recall, so it might do just fine for you.
the plants will be spread across a 2 acre landscape
i have a few blueberries and a rose among various cactus and pineapple plants a brown turkey fig and some medicinal herb plants,
most of my effort and energy are going towards next years purchases, i am going to have tight spacing and also let some of the bigger plants live in 25 gal pots before they find their final home
using leaf mulch from the city helps a great deal in reducing costs if you cut your soil and planting mixes in half and use the other half leaf mulch
No, no bad reviews on Challenger, I’ve read some good descriptions of them on certain sites. @Chris_in_GA has said it was a very good peach for him this year.
The good reviews I’ve seen on Intrepid have been from Stark Bros, fwiw. But, folks that have wrote in seem to really like it for its hardiness and flavor.
What white peach would you recommend that has good sweetness/acid balance to it?
@BobC is prob the closest member to me, and he seems to have good luck with Coralstar, so maybe it’ll be OK here.
I guess this is all moot until my trees start to produce, at least I hope to contribute some reports on a lot of apples, and some peaches and pears to the forum in the future.
I guess bacterial spot gets a hold in your orchard, and is harder to control than in your home trees? Don’t want to pick your brain too much, but which varieties seem to have the least suspectability to spot, but good flavor and/or production?
My mind literally races from more Jujubes to Pecans, Persimmons and Chestnuts.
Definitely want at least two more Jujubes to pair with this years Honey Jar and mystery Sherwood. My mind goes in constant circles with what and where on my 20 acres to plant.
20 acres, eh? Must. Resist. Temptation to fill up empty spaces!
So, what fruit trees do you have besides juju’s, plums and persimmons? I know you have lots of blueberry shrubs. Have you decided on any peach or pluots?
How is the home building project going? Are you close to being done?
Coralstar has produced big crops of very large peaches every year most peaches have produced. It seems to have no problems with fruit set in the NE and I have to thin and thin it just like most I grow- should have thinned it even more this year, but it didn’t affect the huge side that I didn’t. However, it’s never been as good as the first year it bore as far as high sugar and acid goes. Just another good peach that sizes up very well.
Messina didn’t need much thinning this year but still gave a decent sized crop. Indian Free failed to do so and White Heath was also pretty sparse. Most years cropping is not a problem with peaches- thinning is. However, the warm winter with one very cold night indicated that these peaches and a few Nects can be more susceptible to damage than other varieties.
Re: your difficulties with white peaches, have you ever tried Polly? I saw Trees of Antiquity had it and I was thinking about it. It was a peach from Iowa, so I made the assumption it is pretty hardy and adapted to extremes of weather. Love to hear your evaluation if you have experience with it. (Maybe I should move this to a new thread? I don’t know.)
It’s raining here today. I’m working on putting clear coat on a bookshelf we had made earlier this summer. Need a break from smelling that stuff (and denatured alcohol) which makes me nauseous. (I thought the cabinet maker did a good job, btw.)
Like many pests, I think bac. spot pressure multiplies when more trees are added. Unless one sprays for it (which I’ve done some of) there is more inocculum floating around with more trees, imo. Plus it’s much windier at that farm, which abrades the leaves and allows for more entry points.
My best flavored white would be Spring Snow. It’s a white peach, so it doesn’t have a lot of acid, but it has some, and is very good. Lady Nancy can be very good, with plenty of acid, but it can also be plenty bad some years if the fruit is very low or shaded. I like Raritan Rose a lot, and it has some acid.
Some of my favorite varieties right now, based on the 3 main criteria mentioned earlier.
Earlystar (not super great, but the best tasting yellow I’ve found so far for that window)
Clayton - I don’t have tons of experience harvesting this one, but so far I’m pleased
Challenger-Just harvested a few peaches this summer, but looking good so far
Blazingstar-Very tasty, but I’ve had quite a few production problems at the house. Out of 8 harvests at the house, it’s had problems about 4. But the last two years at the farm it’s done very well, in spite of both years being partial crop years. It is on the upper end at the farm, which probably helps.
Intrepid-No harvest experience, just mentioning it because I ordered more based on reputation and reviews
Scarlet Prince-Just one harvest, but the young tree produced loads of fruit this year, when other varieties were wiped out.
July Prince-See Scarlet Prince, except that I’ve had two years of harvest for July Prince. July Prince produces large very red delicious peaches which are very uniform. If it keeps producing this way, it’s a dream peach, from a commercial perspective.
Babygold (edit-I meant to type Baby Crawford)
I’ve not tried Polly. Honestly, with all the failures I’ve had with white peaches (and considering they are harder to sell) in the future, I’m probably only going to trial white peaches which are rated almost superstar in the flavor/hardiness category. If you try Polly, please let me know how it performs/tastes for you.
Out of the twenty 20 white peaches/nects, I’ve tried, I’m down to about 3 I really like. I like Spring Snow, Saturn, and Raritan Rose (although Raritan had production problems this year). I also like the flavor of others but they’ve had production problems for me i.e. Silver Gem, Indian Free.
I see you’re in zone 7. Do you have a greenhouse or plan some measures for winter protection? Olives will not survive in the open in zone 7.
you should check out oregonolives
they were told the same thing and
grow frantoio kalamata arbequina cailletier (nicoise)
my arbequina took 4 degree temps no problem last year
so we will see with the manzanilla and cerignola
kalamata olives are further south than anything and if they can grow in oregon i have faith that the rest will here too
I know about oregonolives, they’re in zone 8 and did lose some trees. Good luck!
I’ve tried Ginger Gold twice now this fall from 2 separate locations. One was a farmers market and the other a u-pick. I was disappointed both times. One of ths most boring apples I’ve tasted.
Thanks for the report. So, Saturn is your best donut peach? I’ll keep Spring Snow and Glenglo in mind, if I get any more.
Nice job on the bookcase, btw. Looks very sturdy.
Oh I have several peach and plum. Some figs, apricot, mulberries and pears.
Home building project has been delayed a bit but it’s most certainly going to happen. 6 more months of extra payments and we will own the land outright. I want that done before we build.
Saturn is the best white donut, based on productivity, bac. spot and flavor. TangOs II donut tastes a little better than Saturn, but is not nearly as productive and sometimes is prone to crack very badly. I prefer TangOs I (a yellow peach) to either one, but Saturn is a very good productive white.
Thanks. We had a bookcase made about 20 years ago and wanted a matching. I don’t like MDF (i.e. sawdust board) which is the mass production stuff they sell at big box stores, so I’m glad I hired a local guy anyway. The guy was able to make a match, which impressed me.
It has to be the “Hoyt” strain of Montrose. That’s the one Scott has observed blooming late. Along with Zard.