Dan Allen wrote:Update on the peaches:
Well, it seems they had a rough time this winter. The lowest low was -26 in January for a full night. That's a solid zone 4 winter, the last time we had temps like that was 2014. The trees survived fine, some minor tip die back and very few blossoms, around fifty compared to the usual uncountable flowers. Second generation seedlings all survived with even less tip burn. Even through sassafrasses and catalpas got burned this winter. First pic is the unusual blossoms of the large yellow peach, second pic is a seedling leafing out, third pic is another seedling peach with normal blossoms. Our spring is a full month late this year.
That's really neat that the second generation has even less tip burn.
It's awesome that they're even more adapted to your area, super encouraging to hear, very cool Dan!
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I'm kinda bummed that the cold knocked back so many blossoms, but I'm fairly confident I'll get a little fruit off them this year, but nothing like last year's harvest. I potted up another fifty seeds from my best two trees. On a related note I have a peach tree that is a grafted cultivar, from a nursery and is about 8 years in the ground. It has only produced 1 peach, and not much growth, and this year not a single blossom, so I dont think I'll ever mess with grafted cultivar again. Seeds are the way to go! At least for peaches.
Just want to update, I've decided to cut the large yellow peach down again. This last winter did it in. We are now in June and had a 4 hour freak freeze on the 3rd and she's just really struggling. I believe it's because I scraped the trunk with a tractor by accident last year. Luckily I had the foresight to train up a replacement sucker which is already taller than me, and very vigorous despite the freezes and hard winter, so I should see peaches again next year. All other seedling trees are doing good and bearing fruit.
In the Dominican Republic, several of the important fruits are normally grown from seed. Mango is one -- I have been told that it can ONLY be grown from seed, and I see two types: the wild type, which are the biggest, shadiest shade trees, and produce many different types of fruit, some bigger, some smaller, some more fibrous, some less, but all very good in my opinion; and the cultivated type, with dwarfism of the tree combined with gigantism of the fruits, and starting to produce right around the time the season ends for the wild type.
Papayas are another one which I think are only ever grown from seeds. These, too, come in different varieties, including the smaller elongated ones like you see imported into colder countries, and big, watermelon-looking ones. Also guavas, which could be considered a weed, but are permitted to grow in handy places because their fruits are tasty, too. Genipap ("jagua," in Spanish) is popular here, too, and mine is a transplanted seedling from the bush. That one can be problematic because, like the papaya, it has separate male and female trees, and I still need to find out what sex mine is. I got lucky with the papayas -- they came out five females and one male.
Edited: forgot to mention cashew (in the D.R., it is more usually a fruit than a nut), also usually grown from seeds.
I'm so happy to read this thread! Today I found that another peach seed seems to have germinated. I packed dozens of peach, cherry and apricot seeds in a pot of soil last autumn, and got surprisingly few germinations, maybe because I let them dry out for several weeks before putting them in the soil. Anyway, two weeks ago I planted them all out into a garden bed, and I'm very excited if more of them grow. This spring I did plant out 12 seedling apricots, 1 seedling apple and one grafted purchased apple, one seedling mulberry, and one seedling peach that had grown in a pot for a year. This thread makes me happy!!!
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Rebecca, that is how I stratify peaches as well. Actually dig them out of the compost. But I crack the pits open before I plant them and I get almost 100 percent germination, at least with peaches. I also find lots of seedlings in old pig pens, apples, pears, bramble fruits, etc, which I dig up and transplant.
Here is another seedling tree, it is around 16' tall. This one is in a sheltered spot next to the woods. It has flowered good this year and is making peaches in spite of the cold spring and hard winter. You can see at the bottom of the pic where a large limb broke off, two years ago it was so overloaded with peaches that it broke off. This is another one that I cut down a while back and trained back up from a sucker.