Peach (Prunus persica) Everyone would love picking peaches off their very own tree, but for many of us here in Canada it remains an elusive dream. The bitter, relentless cold of some recent winters took a terrible toll, but true to their fickle nature, some trees survived in unlikely locations, while others in supposedly ideal settings gave up the ghost. Protection from frigid winds is almost certainly a benefit. The take-home message? Be aware of the risks, but stay cautiously optimistic and keep planting a tree or two. 1.25-2m (4-6ft.) bareroot trees
Photo by Whiffletree Nursery

Peach : CONTENDER Semi-Dwarf (Bailey)

$59.95

In stock

Contender is building a reputation as the best flavoured of the hardier peaches since being introduced in 1987. Large, beautifully coloured fruit has firm, sweet, freestone flesh that resists browning when cut and a small pit. In short – the ideal canning peach. Two of the reasons why Contender is becoming known as a dependable producer are its cold hardy fruit buds and late blooming habit. It also shows considerable resistance to bacterial spot. Definitely one to try.

SELF-FERTILE | ZONE 4/5 | HARVEST: EARLY SEPT

Rootstock
Pollenizer
Zone
Rootstocks
G41 Dwarf
(2.5-3.1m/8-10ft)
G935 Small Semi-Dwarf
(3.25-4m/10-13ft)
G969 Small Semi-Dwarf
(3.25-4m/10-14ft)
G30 Semi-Dwarf
(3.6-5m/12-16ft)
G890 Semi-Dwarf
(3.6-5m/13-16ft)
Pollenator definitions
Some trees and many berry plants are SELF-FERTILE ̶means the insect pollinators or even the wind can pollinate the blossoms without the need of a second tree.
NEEDS A POLLENIZER ̶ means another tree of the same type or kind but a different variety must be blooming nearby at the same time.
EXAMPLE A Liberty apple and a Wealthy apple can cross-pollinate. Two trees of the same variety ie: ̶ 2 Wealthy apples, cannot cross pollinate because they are genetically identical.
Other trees are marked as SEMI-FERTILE. These will set fruit without a second tree. However they will often bear more, and sometimes larger fruit if another variety of the same kind of tree is nearby.
You can select 2 different trees of the same kind marked as NEEDS A POLLENIZER or plant one of those along with one SELF-FERTILE or one SEMI-FERTILE. Also consider ripening times ̶ a Goldrush apple might not start blooming before a Pristine is finished.

Other products in this zone

Growing Tips

Peach Growing Tip

Peach trees are usually unaffected by pests or diseases in northern areas, the occasional exception being peach leaf curl. PLC is not a fatal problem but it does need to be controlled if you get hit with it. Look for crinkled or puckered foliage in spring. Remove affected leaves and compost them. A good preventative is to spray the dormant trees with copper in the fall and again in the spring before bud break (See page 63). Do NOT spray during the growing season as it will cause all the leaves to drop.


Peach Pruning Tip

Prune your peach trees in May, once they have leafed out, but don’t prune off all the new wood that grew last summer. Peach trees fruit on that last season growth. Trim any dead or winterkilled branches and leave most of the new wood. Occasionally you can make a few bold cuts back to a vigorous branch closer
to the trunk if your tree becomes too leggy. As the tree matures, you may want to thin out the branches quite aggressively.


Apricot / Peach Growing Tip

One of the key factors that determines cold-hardiness for tender fruit trees such as apricots and peaches is how well they harden off in the fall. Any activity that stimulates growth should be avoided after August 1. This includes fertilizing, overly frequent watering and pruning.


Peach / Nectarine Growing Tip

Stop! Do not plant your peach or nectarine tree in that sheltered nook of the south side of your house. Although well meant, this very common mistake is almost certain to doom your new tree. Of course extreme cold is hard on peach trees, but the warm noonday sun on a late winter day is actually worse. A dark tree trunk will warm up considerably but then the temperature drops and the bark refreezes. To avoid this fluctuation, look for a planting site in the winter shade (north side) of a building or group of evergreens. In other word, close enough to the building to be shaded from the low winter sun but far enough back to get full exposure in the summertime when the sun is high. The goal is uniform cold so as
not to interrupt dormancy. Some growers white wash the trunks and lower branches of older peach trees in late fall with a cheap interior latex paint to protect from sun damage in winter. Young trees should have trunks wrapped with a light coloured blanket or covering.


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