Report on winter damage - peach
We've had several days of warm spring weather and plants/trees are starting to push growth.
I recorded -10F for several hours at my house this past winter. From what I can tell at my house, it appears to be near a total loss of peaches in my backyard. About the only peach trees which have started to push any blooms at all in my backyard are Contender and Flat Wonderful. TangOs has been reported winter hardy, but it's flower buds look as dead as everything else in my backyard.
Strangely, at the farm there are what I would deem almost normal behavior for younger peach trees. In other words there doesn't seem to be much winter kill there. Trees are pushing blooms at what would seem at only a slightly less rate than normal for trees of their age.
This is weird to me because the farm (7 miles away) is a completely unprotected site with younger trees. Both of which would seem to make winter damage more severe, not less.
In the end, the winter was pretty disappointing to lose virtually all the fruit from the 35 peach trees in my backyard. I wouldn't have thought -10F would do it. The farm looks to have quite a few peach blooms overall, so far.
I also lost 3 peach trees last winter from pruning them too much before the winter. Normally it only gets to about 0F here for a low, so pruning during winter isn't an issue. I pruned some trees so severely before the low hit, I ended up killing them. Two of them I can replace myself with grafts (Earliglo nect and Johnboy) but one is patented and so is an expensive tree to replace..
On a positive note, I ordered a couple canning cling peaches today from Grandpa's Orchard (AKA Moyer tree fruit sales). For the last couple years I've wanted to grow some CA canning clings. Finally I decided to order a couple to try. Babygold #5 and Vinegold.
I think most home frozen/canned peaches are gross. People like to freeze/can freestone peaches because they are easy to process. But the end result is the texture completely breaks down to mush. CA cling canners are supposed to hold up under canning/freezing. I don't know if any of my customers would be interested in canning/freezing a cling peach, but I wanted to plant a couple anyway, in case someone is interested.
As an FYI, not all cling peaches are good canners. Early season peaches for fresh eating are generally cling, but make poor canning peaches. Good canning peaches are cling, but not all cling are good canning peaches.
Canning cling peaches are specially bred to retain good texture during the harsh canning/freezing process (i.e. Babygold strains, Halford, Goldnine, etc.)