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Fruits and Nuts: ? ABOUT GROWING A PEACH TREE FROM SEED

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deann
Au Gres, MI
(Zone 5a)

January 6, 2011
3:50 AM

Post #8294932

Has anyone out there grown a peach tree from seed?? If so, how?

Deann
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


January 6, 2011
5:13 AM

Post #8294987

You just put them in the ground in an out of the way place. Presto, lots of seedlings. Note tho, that peaches are hybrids, so you get some good ones and others that are barely edible, but never what you thought you planted. I sometimes use healthy seedlings as grafting stock.
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 6, 2011
8:59 AM

Post #8295373

Peaches are known for their seedling fruit being usually edible and acceptable tasting if not good. That is rare because most seedlings of other fruits produce very poor fruit.

Here is a picture of a peach seedling I grew at 18 months. It was almost 10 feet tall.

Peach seedlings are also known for producing fruit very quickly. Some produce as early as 2-3 years old.

Seedlings are generally more disease resistant as well.



This message was edited Apr 11, 2011 11:28 PM

Thumbnail by jujubetexas
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jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 6, 2011
9:02 AM

Post #8295378

Here was that same tree about four months earlier. It is only about half the size. I did not apply any fertilizer but it is in a raised bed since Peaches require excellent drainage and I have clay soil.

Thumbnail by jujubetexas
Click the image for an enlarged view.

jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 6, 2011
9:07 AM

Post #8295383

Here is one more picture from May of this year. It was so tiny.

Thumbnail by jujubetexas
Click the image for an enlarged view.

deann
Au Gres, MI
(Zone 5a)

January 6, 2011
3:23 PM

Post #8295991

JuJu...I am so impressed with your seedling peach tree...you sure have a green thumb. You live in south Texas?? I am passing this information on to my daughter who wants to grow a tree from a pit in Southern Illinois.

Farmerdill, you live in the Peach capitol of the world...how fortunate for you. Thank you so much for your input...\

Deann
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 6, 2011
5:00 PM

Post #8296166

Strangely, I did nothing to this Peach tree. I had other Peach seedlings that were not in a raised bed that did not grow as fast. It may just be a more vigorous seedling combined with loose well drained soil.
krowten
Greensburg, PA

January 6, 2011
11:18 PM

Post #8296581

JuJu, I would advocate some caution here. My initial reading of this thread, I thought you were suggesting that eating peach pits and the seedlings themselves, which are toxic to varying degrees. Then a rereading which showed that you were talking about the peaches (fruit) from the seedlings. My mistake, but I thought maybe worthwhile to clarify the difference in case others were reading too fast like myself.

My understanding is that some peach seeds need a cold treatment, so there could be some benefit to winter sowing or storing seeds in a refrigerator for a period of time before planting. Depends on your climate, when you are trying to sprout the seed and the variety of the peach.

Some peaches are reported to come relatively close to original variety from seed, but others do not. It is always fun trying for new varieties and the ones on their own roots, that survive for a long time, are going to be well suited for your location.

Good thread.
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 7, 2011
7:26 AM

Post #8297005

My neighborhood is full of Peach tree seedlings. You can always tell the difference from the store bought trees that are named varieties. Usually the seedlings are about racketball sized fruit or a little bigger. The taste is often superior to store bought Peaches which are bred to have a longer shelf life and less sugar content. However, they are usually not as good as home orchard variety Peaches which are larger and juicier. The seedlings are definitely tougher as I used to have a named variety that died without care while seedlings were still growing in vacant lots.
krowten
Greensburg, PA

January 7, 2011
12:51 PM

Post #8297574

Peach trees grow well here but do not live long due to there being a couple of diseases that affect them here. I'll have to try a few pits-to-trees to see what I get. I'd rather have have a couple of apricots though. Apricots here have problems with setting fruits. The weather triggers them to start growing and flowering, then we get frosts that kills the blossoms/fruit. I have never had a tree ripened apricot (*sigh*). I do enjoy tree ripened peaches - they are much better.
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 7, 2011
1:47 PM

Post #8297692

Here are the late blooming varieties. This guy is extremely knowledgable and has written a few books on fruits.

http://www.oakcreekorchard.com/id71.html

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

January 7, 2011
4:41 PM

Post #8297990

I accidently grew some peaches from seed. I tilled in my compost where I intended to plant some raspberries. There were peach pits in the compost from canning peaches. The next spring I had a row of peach seedlings. I thinned them by vigorous vs scrawny the first year, then by branching pattern (I moved the best looking one to the tree row), then by health and vigor again, which left 3 of the original peaches. The blossoms got hit by frost two years in a row. The one that I moved got badly hail damaged. This past year, the 3 without hail damage finally set peaches. One dropped all its peaches while still green. One had one huge ugly peach - but it was rich and juicy. The littlest peach had the most - six small peaches. They had a firm texture a "bright" (sweet-tart) flavor, completely different from the big one. I intended to narrow it down to 1-2 trees, but it looks like it will take another year.

To sum up: there was nothing wrong with the flavor of the "wild" peaches. There was nothing wrong with the size, it was consistant with the size of the tree and number of peaches. The general health and vigor of the trees was helped by the fact I had the luxury of being able to thin down to the best ones.
krowten
Greensburg, PA

January 7, 2011
9:27 PM

Post #8298355

Late blooming apricots were also a recent topic on the NAFEX discussion list. Juju, do you belong to that?
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 7, 2011
9:41 PM

Post #8298360

No sir.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 27, 2011
10:17 AM

Post #8453358

Sure appreciate the feedback here as I have three seedlings of various age and have not tasted my first fruit yet. Last year the biggest bloomed and set profusely, I thinned as directed, but all fruit had dropped or disappeared not long after walnut size. This year two trees each have a few fruit buds. The smallest should be moved to her permanent home soon if I have room.

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

March 28, 2011
6:22 AM

Post #8455315

Thanks for all this interesting info. I have not tried growing seedling fruit trees thinking the fruit would be worthless. As I live in an area full of cedar and juniper, I am learning that my 2 apple trees will probably do poorly so, if they do, I will saw them down and plant peach seeds in their place. One of the posts brought out that he/she (sorry) was thinning by vigor, etc so that seems like a good idea for me - I can plant 5 or so seeds around each apple stump. I assume that will allow for no-shows as well as a selection by vigor. I think this year will be a good SC & GA peach crop year so I may plant seeds as I eat the really great peaches.

FarmerDill,
do peaches like pretty neutral pH? My soil is very acid (blueberries do fine) so I would use lime for peaches if they do.

Paul
krowten
Greensburg, PA

March 28, 2011
6:41 AM

Post #8455370

If your apples do not work out, don't remove them, graft good apple scions onto the rootstock trees you have. This kind of grafting is called top-working. There are many people that will share cuttings for scion use with you. It is much faster than growing out a new tree that may or may not be worthwhile. You could end up with a tree that has multiple good varieties if you want.

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

April 4, 2011
3:46 PM

Post #8471933

Junipers and apples both grow well in Colorado. Some people/areas have problems with cedar-apple rust, some don't. Do not give up on your apples yet.

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

April 11, 2011
10:08 AM

Post #8487696

Krowten - Thanks for the grafting suggestion but I really am not that thrilled with growing apples (especially varieties I know nothing of). I was just disillusioned learning about the cedar tree problem. I have limited planting room and I know peaches grow in Eastern NC - not so sure about apples. I really enjoy my fig trees and blueberries and they don't give me any hassles.

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

April 11, 2011
12:57 PM

Post #8488011

pbyrley: Apples need winter chilling hours - How many hours varies by variety. That far south in 7b, you would need a variety recommended for your area. I wouldn't know what varieties that would be. Where did your apples come from? A local supplier should carry varieties for your area. A national supplier ought to at least be able to tell you whether or not it will grow in your area, and whether it has any resistance to Cedar-Apple rust. You should also see if your county extension agent or state agricultural college has any information on growing apples (or other fruits) in your area.
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 11, 2011
1:36 PM

Post #8488091

deann wrote:Has anyone out there grown a peach tree from seed?? If so, how?

Deann


Yes, though it's been years ago, when I was a grad student at the University of Georgia in Athens. At one of the experimental farms, we had a dwarf ornamental peach growing that happened to be fruiting when I was there, so I picked up one and took it home. I removed the flesh and washed the pit very well, put it into a plastic bag with some damp vermiculite, put it in the vegetable drawer of my refrigerator and left it there for several months. I honestly don't remember if it was already sprouting in the bag, but I took it out and planted it in a small nursery container. It grew and developed the same dwarf habit as the parent - VERY short internodes. Since I was moving around quite a bit back then, I gave it to a good friend who was with the Georgia Extension Service. He planted it in his yard on his farm near Tifton. I saw it some years later when I visited, and it had grown into a very compact, tidy bush about 3 feet tall. When I happened to bring up my old "seedling", he was surprised to find out it was not a graft. It seems dwarf trees don't commonly reproduce true from seed, but this one did.
krowten
Greensburg, PA

April 11, 2011
6:27 PM

Post #8488749

Blueberries are a true joy. I don't grow apples myself either. BTW, did you know there is a relatively new variety of blueberry called "Bonus" that does fruit the size of half-dollars? It gotten good reviews so I've picked up a couple of plants to try. Just heard about it this year.
Dlmcgrw
Colton, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 11, 2011
10:22 PM

Post #8489201

pbyrley, You might want to look into how long an average peach tree lives. It is not even a respectable fraction of an apple trees life span. Peach trees also have a number of problems, like peach leaf curl and borers for instance. Regular spraying is almost always neccesary. I have peaches and necterines and apples and pears, citrus and avocados and some other stuff and the stone fruit demands much more attention. Don
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 11, 2011
10:26 PM

Post #8489205

By the way, my two year old Peach seedling has a few fruit on it.
It has also put on a massive amount of growth again. This tree is out of control even though we are in a bad drought again. I will post more pics tomorrow.


This message was edited Apr 11, 2011 11:30 PM

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

April 24, 2011
5:51 AM

Post #8516962

Thanks Dimcgrw,
Since I am 74 years old, I don't have to worry that apple trees live longer than peaches. I know you have to spray peaches and would be willing to do that. I love to eat peaches even though they all got ripe in one week on a tree I had about 20 yrs ago. I and the June bugs loved them. When you spray the trees, the neighbors are very grateful also.

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

April 24, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8516998

Thanks rjogden for the details - I think the refrigerator step will probably speed the sprouting time here. I plan to try sprouting mid-season and late-season peaches (one around the Gala apple stump and the other around the Fuji apple stump). I presume that early peaches means early blooming and our last frost would likely get early peach blooms. Any other details, especially on selection criteria, would be appreciated.

Also, do you have a feel for the desired pH for peaches? I have very acid soil - 4.3 to 4.5 at last test. Maybe, I will retest and tell the NC State people I want to grow peaches - they'll suggest how many tons of dolomite I need.

Paul
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 19, 2012
10:19 AM

Post #9211413

Well, here is an update on my "weed" that I almost dug up until I found out it was a Peach tree.
It has been around three years since the seedling popped up and the tree is huge, covered in fruit and the fruit is some of the best I have ever eaten. No fertilizer, no pesticides and I didnt water it the first two years.

Thumbnail by jujubetexas   Thumbnail by jujubetexas   Thumbnail by jujubetexas
Click an image for an enlarged view.

jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 19, 2012
10:21 AM

Post #9211417

If you look back further in this post, you will see pictures of this tree when it was just a few feet tall.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 19, 2012
11:42 AM

Post #9211497

Congratulations!
My experiment hasn't been as successful.

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2012
3:50 PM

Post #9211740

Thanks to all,
Using the method rjogden had mentioned, I put my peach pits into a jar of moist vermiculite ( I always have it on hand) and kept them in the refrig. all Winter. I think I had 5 or maybe 7 pits, each from a different purchase of grocery store peaches from July through Aug. About last March, I notice they were starting to sprout so I planted them near the apple trees I planned to saw down and 5 seeds sprouted fine. Two were destroyed, by deer(?) but 3 are growing well - about 12" tall now.

I have now sawed down both apple trees and thrown them into the woods.

I also have one peach tree I sprouted the year before, in a pot - I may leave it as a potted tree. It's about 3' tall (from the potting soil surface). It's likely way too hot here to plant it in the ground now.

Thanks again,

Paul

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

October 20, 2012
3:32 PM

Post #9310768

2012 Update: Of my four peaches from seed I have left, I have decided to remove 2 of the 4. Both were shy about setting fruit. One was unusually late, in a bad year it could be hit by a hard frost before the fruit were ripe. I didn't care for the flavor of the other one - tasted okay at first but seemed to have a bit of a bitter after-taste. So I guess one volunteer did have an off-taste - but it was as good as a picked-green store-bought peach. It is the same one that had its bark stripped off by hail, and has been runty ever since - before the hail storm it was a pretty tree. These are the same trees I had thinned previously for health.
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 23, 2012
9:07 AM

Post #9313101

Don't remove seedlings if you want to grow something similar at that same spot. Just cut them back to the split in the tree and graft Plums, other Peaches, Cherries or Apricots to them. In fact, you could graft all of those fruits to just one tree.That type of grafting is called Cleft Grafting and is very easy. You will get tons of growth in the first year and possibly fruit the second when doing this. Also, the roots are already established so you are years ahead of planting a store bought tree.

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

October 27, 2012
8:12 AM

Post #9316878

Good suggestion. I was going to replace one with a cherry - and I have had trouble getting Cherries started in my salty alkaline soil. I don't know if it is the soil or the gophers or both. I can get hold of several different red sweet cherries. I saw on this forum where "Bing" can be too aggressive as a graft, but I can get a "Stella" and another blackish one -"Van"? I just need to figure out where I can acquire a twig off a yellow cherry, "Anne" or better yet, "Rainier".

Since I have trouble with critters gnawing on the both roots and trunk or little trees - should I cut it off higher, maybe 18-24" and set the grafts up high?
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 27, 2012
1:05 PM

Post #9317137

Sure.
Just remove the shoots that will come up from below the graft.

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

January 21, 2013
7:05 AM

Post #9392184

I am still enjoying this thread a lot.

Rjogden, do you have a guess as to how a (seedling) peach would do in Port St. Lucie, FL? We bought a second house there and I am ready to go get a mango & maybe an avocado. While re-reading this thread, I thought - why not? The real beauty to me, besides that I grew up in Augusta, GA, is that seedlings are just plain fun! If i got a few peaches to eat, that's a bonus. I wouldn't be willing to do a lot of spraying unless it was piggybacked to the mango tree's requirements (like adding Sevin to a fungicide).

Thanks,
Paul (UF, BSEE 1964)

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 21, 2013
12:39 PM

Post #9392569

Paul, when I was a small child during WWII we lived across the street from the old Orange Bowl in Miami (long before the upper decks were added). My grandfather encouraged me to plant avocado and mango seeds, which actually grew!

Right after the war, he transplanted the seedlings to the house he was building, and when I moved back to Miami in 1954, there were several huge mango and avocado trees in his back yard... bearing LOTS of fruit every year... and all from my childhood seedlings.

Never give up on seedlings!

I'm not sure you'll get enough chill hours in Port St. Lucie for peaches, but any / all citrus and tropical fruits should thrive there, even things like Barbados cherries. I'm envious you will have that growing environment as I sure miss the fruits of my childhood!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

January 21, 2013
2:38 PM

Post #9392724

Jujube,

It sounds like your peach tree is a very superior variety, and you should think of propagating it. Put your name on it, and it is very satisfying to watch it become popular.

When i was operating the Shade and Ornamental tree nursery in Idaho, I discovered a mutation of a Purple Crab, that was much superior to the Royalty cultivar, that was the most popular at the time.

It took us five years to grow them to market size and by that time the tree was far and away better than the other 99 in that row grafted at the same time. I shared it with other growers and it is becoming very popular all over the Intermountain West, which is the area we sold our trees to. The tree is the Perfect Purple Crabapple and easy to find on Google.

I have one Babcock peach planted here and plan to plant another Peach this Spring to replace the Guava that cannot stand the frosts we are starting to get here.

Is there a chance you could send me a few bud sticks, that i could try? I would be glad to pay, and or send you some Himrod Grape cuttings which are fantastic grapes.

Thanks,
Ernie



rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

January 21, 2013
10:42 PM

Post #9393233

pbyrley wrote:Rjogden, do you have a guess as to how a (seedling) peach would do in Port St. Lucie, FL?

I really hate to discourage you, but unless things have changed variety-wise we are pretty much at the southern limit for peaches. You might get a seedling peach tree to grow that far south, but there is absolutely no way to tell if it will produce fruit, or if it does whether they will be any good. And I don't personally know anyone who grows organic peaches successfully. Even the varieties "adapted" to this area or bred to grow here need a lot of attention (pruning, fruit thinning, fertilizing, spraying for diseases and insects) to produce fruit reliably. Count on regular fungicide and insecticide applications at a minimum.

I did my masters degree work on peaches up in Georgia - and despite the fact I now have low-chill apples and pears, cold-resistant citrus, blueberries, loquats, olives, mulberries, figs, persimmons, and even a pomegranate growing on my small property, I have no plans to grow any peaches.

-Rich

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

February 4, 2013
5:22 AM

Post #9407748

Rich, thanks for your answer, I pretty much thought that would be the case. I certainly don't need the extra work you described.
The seedlings I planted in NC will be interesting to watch but I will likely be in FL so much that they won't get any loving care. My wife has no interest in spraying, only in reaping the results.

Today, I am going today to purchase a Valencia Pride mango from a nursery in Stuart. I was so enthusiastic about the impending purchase that I dug the hole 2 days ago.

Paul
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

February 4, 2013
7:51 AM

Post #9407964

pbyrley wrote:Rich, thanks for your answer, I pretty much thought that would be the case. I certainly don't need the extra work you described.
The seedlings I planted in NC will be interesting to watch but I will likely be in FL so much that they won't get any loving care. My wife has no interest in spraying, only in reaping the results.

Today, I am going today to purchase a Valencia Pride mango from a nursery in Stuart. I was so enthusiastic about the impending purchase that I dug the hole 2 days ago.

Paul

Well, North Carolina is a different case, and peaches can certainly be grown there. They will need thinning to get large fruit (bigger than prunes) and should at least be sprayed to prevent fungus destroying all the fruit in wet/humid weather, but you might be able to find a copper-based fungicide to do the job. Just need to be careful about copper accumulation in the soil - it can become toxic.

I WISH I could grow mangoes! It's just a hair too cold up here in Gainesville.

-Rich


pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

March 25, 2013
2:00 PM

Post #9461615

I am getting blossoms on the 3 year old seedling peach. They opened just before the 27 deg. night so I rigged a little frame and put a "tent" over it with a 100 W light bulb under the tent. The blossoms survived the 27 deg and now, today, the tent had to go back to protect against 3 successive nights of 32 degrees starting tonight.

I also had, for the first time in 8 years, a full bloom on the now large methly plum tree. Of course I couldn't even begin to tent it. Maybe next year the weather will occur more reasonably.

Thumbnail by pbyrley   Thumbnail by pbyrley         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

March 28, 2013
9:38 AM

Post #9464950

Apricots are blooming in Canon City, Colorado; and here in Pueblo West my Shiro plum is close to blooming.
It was only 5-10 degrees earlier this week - I don't think we will be having any Apricots this year.

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