Hello. the numbers are relative ranking between the trees. So Wisconsion Balmer is productive, tastes good and pretty hardy. Reliance is moderately productive but doesn’t taste that great. Hardired is not very bud hardy but the tree survives and is tasty when it fruits (hard to keep the fruit looking pretty, shows every insult). Red Haven hasn’t fruited yet, even though the tree is 4" at the base, likely not bud hardy. Polly is very good, and survives, you have to let people taste it, they are not used to green peaches. I gave a slice to one guy, he looked shocked and said “So this is what peaches are supposed to taste like”,
Hardness is a combination of survival and bud hardiness. Madison, contender and PFC24 were not very large before 2011 so I have little data, they are growing well though. The peach seedlings were mostly reliance and were hardier than the parent, but most drowned in 2011. True gold and Sure crop may have been effected by the wet in 2011, they lived a couple of years but died in late summer.
THe last 3 seasons have been tough on the peaches. 2011 we had 20" of rain in 6 weeks and lost many peaches and cherries (and even a few plums) to drowning due to constant standing water in the orchard, followed by Hurricane Irene in August, they just dropped thier leaves and died. 2013 also had excessive rain early but we got some crop. In Dec 2013 we had multiple instances of 45F and rain immediately followed by sub zero temps which knocked the buds off all the peaches and most of the cherries, including the sours and the pears. THis winter we had -19F so I am concerned about this summer. Plums are much hardier, its good we are mostly plums.
Starks gold is a yellow briner cherry with good sweet fruit, but it does not have the “Cherry” taste of the reds, it is like a different fruit from cherries, but sells well.
Kristan is sensitive to wet roots, I had a Starks gold and Kristin grafted to the same trunk, the Kristin died and the yellow did fine. I lost all my Kristins that year, I replanted on mounds with Gisela 6 rootstock but they haven’t bloomed yet.
I have 30 of the Pearl Series on Gisela 5, beautiful trees, lots of buds, but no blooms. I hope to graft them over this year.
Last year the only sweet cherries which did OK were Hudson and Starks Yellow. Its funny, I almost cut out the Hudsons because they didn’t bloom for 8 years (on Mazzard) but didn’t get around it it, they have been doing well since.
Picture of Starks Gold and Kristin