Will a peach tree seedling produces good fruit?

I have a 3 year old peach tree that produces white peaches. I bought it at a garage sale for $3 so I don’t know what kind of seed it came from. I had peaches from it for the first time 2 years ago and they were not very good. It did not produce any this year, probably due to lots of pruning/grafting. Is there a good chance it will produce decent fruit or should I just use it as a rootstock and continue to graft onto it?

Well, up to you to wait another year to see if the fruit improves with age of the tree. If not, I’d just top work it with something you know will produce good tasting peaches.

Brownmola, I too have a ‘so-called’ seedling peach. Some of the peaches were ok last summer (smaller in size not like an Elberta!); however I’m giving it a second year, this year. I will let you know. I do not have high hopes for the peaches. The problem is the tree is loaded with fruit and has been thinned. I will use it for grafting next year. My grafting was interupted this year, so I’ll have to wait till next spring.

Offspring of many genera of grafted fruit will primarily have genetics and phenotype of the root stock. If the peach in question was grafted on Citation, then the prospects for a good tasting peach are pretty good. Otherwise, seedlings from generally make good rootstock.

Can you elaborate please?

Richard, I’d like to understand this. For the benefit of those of us with simple minds, can you explain clearly in lay terms why this would be so? I’ve heard that many plants tend towards bearing the characteristics of the mother plant over the pollinator, but have never heard that offspring would more strongly resemble the rootstock than the flowering parents. Are you saying that the rootstock actually inserts its genes into the flowers of the scions? If so, how?

the only way plants could ‘insert genes’ into each other is through pollination, and phenotype will only be exhibited by growing the plant from the subsequent seed/s from the fruit produced status post pollination.

however, there are instances when pollination actually influences the taste of the fruits, say, date palms(fruits are sweeter when flowers they were produced from were pollinated), and in the case of coconuts, the edible part–the seed, which seems to be affected somewhat(mutant coconuts).

i will have to disagree with your statement. Or was this a typo? I presume you meant ‘the genetics and phenotype’ of the budwood?


There are quite a few resources on the internet about growing peaches from seeds. In general, they report the peaches taste mostly like their parent tree. Most peach trees are self pollinating, so both of the seedling’s parents were the same tree. Older varieties, especially locally grown fruit that itself came from a seed, would seem to have had less hybridizing.

Mother Earth News “almondlike seeds in pits from peaches, nectarines and apricots do a good job of carrying on the desirable traits of their parents.”

Colorado State University “Peaches from seed can result in trees that bear decent fruit, although they may not look or taste just like the peach from which the the pit came.”

inhabitat.com “depending on your climate, you may be able to see fruit on your own trees in as little as 3-5 years: much earlier than most other fruit-bearing trees. Try to get local fruit (as you know it’ll thrive in your region), and dry the seeds out well before preparing them for planting.”

My grandfather grew peaches from seeds and they were good. That was around 50 years ago. Modern varieties might be less likely to bear good fruits, especially if they were developed as commercial hybrids. Also, if the seedling was from a grocery store fruit, that may have been bred for keeping and travel, rather than flavor, and the seedling could be the same. I think it’s a gamble.

On the issue of whether a maturing tree will have improved flavor, that seems to be true some times, but not always. Depends on who you ask. Again, it’s a gamble.

Another question is whether you gave your peaches a chance to fully ripen. I don’t know your background, and if you know how to tell when a peach is ripe enough to pick. The riper, the better. Up to a point.

Ignore what anyone says about a peach flavor depending on the rootstock of its parent. That goes against all modern knowledge. Size of the tree, vigor, what soil types it will tolerate - those are influenced by rootstock. The genetics of a seedling come from the scion that produced the seed, not the rootstock. The same for the phenotype. However, the genes remix in each flower, so if the tree is a hybrid, there is not much predicting the next generation’s behavior.


Bear, thank you for your clear explanation.

Can you only graft peaches onto peaches? Thanks

I grafted peaches onto my manchurian bush apricot this spring.

The peaches were ripe, soft on the outside and pulled easily away form the tree, but not mushy “fall on the ground” ripe. The taste is hard to describe. It had kind of an odd aftertaste which made me question whether or not the peaches would ever be good. Not nearly as sub acid like other white peaches.

The tree itself has beautiful low, open branching. Maybe I’ll leave one scaffold and graft over the others.

Here are the peaches from the tree 2 years ago:

I’ve never heard of this either. I can’t imagine how the rootstock could pass genetic material to the peach, but stranger things have happened.

Peaches grown on Citation supposedly produce a slightly larger and higher brix fruit which matures 2-3 days earlier, but to my knowledge these minor variations are not the result of any genetic change in the fruit. The rootstock itself is said to be unfruitful, if allowed to grow into a tree.

Richard is currently unable to check this forum, but will be back on the forum soon. I expect he will see this thread and rejoin the discussion.

I agree with Patty, give it one more season. If no good, customize it. You can really get what you want then. For that matter, I suppose you could keep some of the original scaffolds but put at least one variety that ripens at another time and that you know you really want on it during the next grafting season. So you can contemplate that and look for wood you want and at the very least have a dual tree if you end up liking the fruit next season. If not, continue top working.

I’m growing out a peach seedling (pit grown) in a perpendicular V, but I know and tasted the parent peach: high acid, late season yellow clingstone, can be happily eaten fresh but great for pies (maybe its just modified Lovell, for all I know. Its been grown from seedlings for several generations). But its prime virtue is that its tough as nails, the tree and two of its children having been submerged for two days in brackish Superstorm Sandy floodwaters (the trees live about 5 feet from a salt water canal) and not seemed bothered by it one bit. I figure its my bulletproof cropper.

some cambium could ‘invade’ vertically upwards to ‘dilute’ the cells of the scion with rootstock cells, and vice-versa from scion downward to the rootstock, but will not convert each other’s genetic material.
because cambium is where specialized cells differentiate from, it is quite incredible, but maybe not impossible for some rootstock cells to move up high enough to dilute the formation of stem, leaves, and maybe the pistil and ovary, which could differ in taste.
that is just my theory, it is possible, but not probable, because if it was, then fruit from budwood should have changed over time, since humans have been grafting for hundreds of years—but obtaining budwood serially from trees grafted onto different rootstocks(along the way)seem to be hi-fidelity to the original budwood.
a more likely explanation for change in fruiting would be the metabolic differences between the rootstock and scion, which could cause either a change in vigor/taste/level of sugars of the budwood(and vice-versa) compared to growing the budwood on its own roots(as a marcot).
either way, the genetics of budwood cells and rootstock cells remain unchanged.

I’ve had excellent tasting peaches from seed. I grow out a ton of nectarine seeds. If they are garbage, either hack the tree or graft it over…peaches are like tomatoes in their growth…a large tree in one season. Another option is to grow out a seed…get grafting wood from it…graft it over onto another tree and get rid of the tree…especially if space is tight.

So the peach flowers in this seedling are kind of odd, they don’t really seem to open up all the way. It was like that last year as I recall. Does that mean anything? Anyone else have that happen?

I have two mature peach trees, one has big dark pink blossoms, the other makes small blossoms like in your photo. The tree with the small blossoms makes good peaches and sets heavy enough that I get tired of thinning so for me the small blooms are not an issue.

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I have one seedling peach, sent to me by a non-reputable nursery now defunct. It produces prolifically peaches that are half sweet and half sour. The tree is going to turn into my ‘Franken’ peach this June. It has been pruned back and parts of it sawed back already. If the grafts to not take, the tree comes out!