Dwarf peach tree?

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,955
8,372
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There were a couple dwarf peach trees in the back yard a few decades ago but they died, one by one. Used to can them (jars), which worked out great.

Recently, rarely buy peaches in the market, just stick to my usual: Bananas, apples, oranges.

After carpal tunnel surgery 3 weeks ago, stopped riding bike (can't), so walked to get my stitches out. On way home, pass a dwarf peach tree on a street I've probably never been on. Notice the poor tree has terrible peach leaf curl. There were many tiny peaches on the sidewalk, most look awful but I pick up one that had only a little bruise and held it the rest of the way home (~2 miles) in my good hand. Washed and ate it first thing when home. Started thinking. What if I plant the pit where the last one died, will I have another dwarf peach tree in the back yard? :oops: The pit is tiny, about the size of one of those largish marbles. I bury it an inch or two deep in potting soil in a small plastic pot, water, and do some research a couple days later and realize I have to do more. Need to wash the pit, let it dry several days, carefully crack open the pit and remove the interior almond-like seed. Then germinate it, then plant it and go from there. There's stuff online. It's ready to crack now. There's a fair chance it won't be much of a producing tree if I do this. I don't know if it will be a dwarf even. Would probably get best results planting something else and grafting, a video had me thinking. Could buy something potted at a local nursery, but another video suggested to me that you never know what a particular peach tree is going to be like because every tree (seed) is different genetically. Comments?
 

marvdmartian

Diamond Member
Apr 12, 2002
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From what I understand, most fruit trees these days are actually root stock, with a known fruit tree branch grafted to it. So if you germinate & plant the seed from that peach pit, it's unlikely that you will end up with the same fruit quality that the original tree had. Not necessarily good or bad, just NOT the same.
What the heck, go for it! If you're able, pot it first, until it's big enough to plant in the ground (like at least 5' tall). Even up in snow country, you should be able to stash a potted tree in your garage, if you have one, over the winter. Trees up north hibernate, so to speak, over the winter, and that would protect it from the worst of the cold, wind, drifting snow, etc.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
63,534
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What matv says is true. Most fruit trees are grafts. I have a Rainier cherry in my back yard, planted by previous homeowners. The graft is obvious.

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Buy whatever species you want...just buy from a reputable grower or nursery. Even Home Depot and Lowes are usually OK.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,955
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Yeah, thanks, guys. Did some more research. For one thing, it's pretty moderate here so my tree wouldn't get the chill most peach trees need. But there are peaches that don't need it, so I should look for that. I'm in zone 10a here in Berkeley, CA. There's hits online for that and peaches. I have a recommendation for a good/large nursery (haven't been yet).

Now that pit! I let it dry, put it in a vise grip and squeezed and it shattered and pieces flew here and there and I couldn't find the seed! I had heard something hit the floor but couldn't find it. Anyway, I think a nursery, or possibly an online source are a better idea.
 

Iron Woode

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
30,958
12,470
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perhaps a pear tree may be a better choice?

My dad bought a "dwarf" bartlett pear tree that didn't have any evidence of a graft. That tree grew like crazy and was around 20 feet or so tall and would be covered in flowers in the spring and fruit in the summer. Lots of fruit. They were awesome eating. I had to fight off the wasps when the fruit ripened.
 

gorobei

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2007
3,717
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google says peaches are 'true to seed', so the pit/seed should grow similar fruit. the problem is that it will take years for it to grow and bear fruit, and it is very easy for it to die. you would want to get multiple pit/seeds and plant a lot to make sure you get one to survive.

so yeah a store bought tree can get you past the riskiest parts of the bet with less time invested an potentially lost if your one seedling dies.
 
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Sukhoi

Elite Member
Dec 5, 1999
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Semi-unpopular opinion: don't buy dwarf rootstalk anything. That just means the rootstalk is slow at growth and will never be a vigorous tree. Buy a normal tree and prune annually to keep it at the size you want. Eventually you're going to need to prune a dwarf tree anyway unless you have a large space, so you don't expend a whole lot more effort and end up with a happier tree.

You also almost certainly don't have enough chill hours in Berkeley to grow decent peaches unless it's a special variety.
If you look at El Cerrito it's only about 150 hr max, which is super low.
 
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Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
37,955
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Semi-unpopular opinion: don't buy dwarf rootstalk anything. That just means the rootstalk is slow at growth and will never be a vigorous tree. Buy a normal tree and prune annually to keep it at the size you want. Eventually you're going to need to prune a dwarf tree anyway unless you have a large space, so you don't expend a whole lot more effort and end up with a happier tree.

You also almost certainly don't have enough chill hours in Berkeley to grow decent peaches unless it's a special variety.
If you look at El Cerrito it's only about 150 hr max, which is super low.
Yes, this is zone 10a (I mentioned that earlier in this thread), and therefore need a peach tree that will do OK here. Most will not. El Cerrito is 5 miles from me, but there's really no terrain changes, so the weather should be pretty similar even though this region is famous for its diverse microclimates.

I don't know anything about the 2 peach trees that were here when I moved in other than that they were quite small (the peaches were small too but that may have had a lot to do with the fact that nobody was taking care of them or fertilizing them). Eventually they died, a few years apart. There's a large plum tree back there now but enough room for one small peach. I figure I can remove that plum tree and another plum of a very different variety, both old and hacked back. They produce and I've canned them a lot but they make quite a mess for a month or two with their falling fruit and they interfere with growing vegetables with their size and shade.
 
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