Nakase Brothers mislabled peach tree

blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)April 10, 2012

01/21/11 I bought a "red baron semi dwarf" peach tree from Lowes. You know the ones in the "eco pot" that are from Pacific Groves but then bought in mass by Nakase Brothers and then re potted into peat pots? Anyways, I planted it and it flowered ONE flower that was a nice small pink color. I got one peach that tasted great. Now that was before I knew anything. I even picked the tree on a coin toss. Now after I eat the peach in the summer of 2011 I look online to get another red baron tree and see they are supposed to have double red blossoms. I search and search and finally I find a tree that looks like mine, same trunk color and flower color. It is a RED HAVEN. Ive been worried this year and in denial. Now this tree still has not flowered and looks nothing like my other red baron that has flowered and fruited already. The buds are now starting to fall off and the ones that do bloom are just leaves.

It got me thinking when I found out Nakase brothers buys bare root and re pots. I think they made a mistake and potted a red haven instead of a red baron and labeled it wrong. The only reason it flowered that first year is because it had been growing at Pacific Groves and had received the required chill hours fot the year.

Im so mad! What can I do? Ive spent a year tenderly loving this tree and when I bought my other "red baron" and planted it next to it the trees look totally different!! Online pictures confirm the red haven with its new red branches and older white/grey trunk and branches. While the red baron is greenish/brown in color.

Should I call Nakase and see if they know this problem exists? This seems a hard allegation to prove but a red haven will never flower around here. The peach was soo good and all year I was dreaming about it but in the back of my mind I was thinking about the difference in flower color and trunk/branch color. Im so mad!!

Could I be mistaken? Can a peach tree take this long to flower? It has a few nice green branches and leaves but no flowers. Only swollen buds and one that opened but looks green inside. Whats the deal?

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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

I bought an ultra dwarf (pumiselect rootstock) Santa Rosa plum that came from Pacific Groves. It grew well, bloomed every year, and never set any fruit. I gave it three years and then replaced it this spring.

I wouldn't recommend buying anything that comes from Pacific Groves based on my experience.

Personally I would replace it before wasting any more time. If you spend another year or two, how much more upset will you be?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:04PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Yeah. I have bought from PG with good results but this tree was bought from Nakase Bros who buys bulk bare root from PG and then pots them in an "eco pot". I can hear them now..."Were out of red barons!" " Oh well, just plant a redhaven, they wont know the difference"...

Thats strange about your plum tree. I would think if it made flowers It would fruit? I have heard plums can be finicky at times and that they can take up to 5 years to set fruit. I wonder if it was mis labeled and was a different variety that needed a pollinator?

Anyways, if my peach does not fruit, at least I have a good tree for root stock. I have TONS of peach and nectarine trees in my neighborhood to choose scions from:) When god give you lemons, make lemonade, or graft an orange onto it :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:20PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

This is about the hundredth story I have read here of a mislabeled tree bought at a big box store. There is a reason why they are selling them so cheap. When people complain generally they just offer to refund the cost. They already did the math: most people will kill them before fruiting, and the 20% that don't kill it have only a 10% chance of coming by to complain about the wrong variety so only 2% of the purchases will be refunded which still means they still made a nice profit. These stores have been running this variety switch scam with various suppliers for years, its just the way they do business. And its a good reason to take your $$ elsewhere.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:30PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


That's too bad.

Scott's right of course. Big box stores are notorious for selling mislabeled trees. It's happened to me.

It may not be a Redhaven though. I doubt even the most experienced orchardist could determine cultivar from bloom color, trunk color and shoot color.

I've got a Redhaven and about 30 other varieties of peach in my backyard. There are some differences, but there would be no way to identify the bulk of the trees without examining the fruit and harvest dates, and even then it could be pretty tough.

I agree if it's a typical Midwest or Northeast peach you may not have enough chill to meet it's requirement.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:50PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

They arrive from Nakase brother already labeled dont they? So technically Nakase brothers would be at fault for mislabeling. I could see later in the season after trees have been picked through that employees might throw any label they find on a pot missing a label but its not like HD or Lowes get a huge shipment of non labeled trees and then label them all. I do agree that mis labeling could be a problem at a big box store due to the higher traffic but like I said, they arrive labeled from the grower in the first place. I have several other trees from big box stores that are doing just fine. The big box stores get most of their trees from respectable nurseries anyways. I do agree that the chance for mis labeling is higher at big box stores though. Due to the high traffic and lack of knowledge from the employees. Next time you go to HD or Lowes ask them if they have any extra fruit tree tags and they will look at you like your crazy, You know why? Because they dont have any. And if they dont have any, I would imagine it would be kind of hard to use them for labeling trees. I would imagine most of the time if a tree is mis labeled it is the fault of the supplier pr a wayward employee who happens to find a tag on the ground and puts it on the nearest tree with no tag.

But like you said olpea, It might not be a redhaven. I thought I narrowed it down because every picture of a red haven I have seen looks exactly like this tree. Out of all your peach trees can you find subtle differences in the bark color and flowers? I thought I did but I could be wrong. I am assuming since red baron and red haven sound so much alike that the people at Nakase would maybe mix them up or this one was one of the few that was mislabeled from the start...OR its still a red baron and I over watered during its dormant period causing it too bloom late and drop some buds??? I dont know. Im anxious and would like to see it flower already!!! Is it too late?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:13PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Scott. I do agree with your math. Purchasing department generally dont worry about what is good for what area, I would think it would be up to the local manager or who ever is in charge of ordering varieties. But I am sure they are aware of the mis labeled or high chill variety for a certain area. Of course they would rely on peoples inexperience. But do I think they knowingly tell growers to mis label product so they can make a profit? No. Do I think the occasional batch slips by? Yes. Do employees mis label a small portion of plants and trees just to get a tag on them. Yes... I dont think there is some huge conspiracy to mis label plants. I do think corporate needs to have better methods for purchasing trees for proper areas.

Most of what I see in the big box stores in my area is correct for my area. But I do see the occasional "High chill" that I know would not bloom. I would love to buy trees from better nurseries. Just this year I compiled a list of small nurseries that carry Dave Wilson trees and another that carries L E Cooke...I just bought a L E Cooke red baron a month ago from a small well respected nursery and it flowered but did not produce whats up with that?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:29PM
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Scott is right here... Remember also who YOU bought the tree from... You bought it from the Box store - not the nursery who repotted it... The box store was your supplier. The receipt has their name on it... Your recourse is with the box store... If you are concerned - take it back to the box store...

Personally, I keep saying to myself that I have sworn off box store fruit trees... It just never really seems like they are 100% right... like an "Elberta" that is just a bland, yellow peach that fruits around the same time as Red Haven (Not right...) or a bland white peach that fruits a couple weeks after Red haven (Not worth it)..... Compare this to my peaches from bona-fide fruit tree growers.... Those are right... and if they aren't - they send you another tree.... like in the case of my purple, obviously not "Green Gage" plum... Ison's replaced it when I called to ask them what they thought it was 2-years after I bought it....


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:34AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

this cracks me up..

you seem indignant .. that the hardware store sold you a mis-labled plant ... ITS A HARDWARE STORE ...

whats that all about ...

and you want to blame everyone .. but you .. for shopping for your orchard requirements at a hardware store ...


ps: all that ... and you actually got fruit .. enjoyed it .. and picked it on a coin toss ...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:56AM
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Well... It's not like most of us don't poke through the fruit trees at the hardware stores when we are there.... Sometimes, you find a gem that's at least worth a try....

I gotta tell you, though... Red Haven is my #1 favorite peach... In our area, it's the picture of everything good in a peach! I would give it a few more years... If you only get fruit every 2nd or 3rd year - it would still be well worth keeping it!

If you really do want to experiment, though - try grafting a bud or 2 off of your other Red Baron onto that Red Haven... Maybe save a branch or 2 from the Red Haven - just in case you do get some fruit....


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 9:29AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


It can be pretty tough to identify a peach tree. At flowering peaches are generally grouped into two categories, showy and non-showy. The major difference b/t the two is petal size (the larger petals being showy). Some showy peaches have larger petals than other showy peaches, but for the most part they look the same. Likewise non-showy peach trees look the same.

Sometimes there is a difference in color on the blooms but that's not typical and pretty easy to spot. For example, some of the peentos have white blooms and Flat Wonderful, has sort of lavender/pink blooms.

The bark of most peach trees also looks the same. In the dormant season, when all the leaves and fruit is gone, I don't think the best expert could tell one peach tree from the next in my orchard.

The fruit itself would be the best chance for identification. But like I said that can still be difficult. So many of the peaches look alike. Breeders have desired a red peach for a long time. In the 1940s, when Redhaven was developed, a peach with 70% red blush was desirable. There are a lot of peaches with that much blush out there and they all have a yellow background color (except white peaches. White peaches have a much lighter background color, it's almost like the white color of the flesh bleeds through the skin.) What makes it more difficult is that peaches higher in the canopy develop more color, so that you could have a peach that normally has only 40% blush develop more blush because it received more sun.

New peaches are even more difficult to tell apart because they breed for what's called a double red color. These peaches are solid red. The only yellow background color is at the stem end where the shoot touches the peach.

Sometimes the shape is different. There are some noticeably rounder peaches, like Blazingstar and O'Henry along with some pointier peaches, but for the most part peaches have about the same shape.

Flavor can be a good indicator, but sometimes a normally really sweet peach won't be as sweet if it was picked lower in the canopy, or received too much rain.

Of course there are some peaches that are unique enough, they are easy to identify. For instance, there would be no mistaking Flat Wonderful with it's red foliage, lavender/pink flowers and donut fruit. Similarly, some of the heirloom varieties like Indian Free would be easy to identify, but most peaches aren't that easy.

I'm certain I could make up a box of Harrow Beauty peaches and a box of Allstar peaches (they ripen at the same time) and all but the most seasoned peach grower could not tell which is which.

Redhaven is a little unique in that it is an unusually beautiful peach in my opinion. It has just the right amount of blush and just the right tone. It also has a good track record here as one with consistently excellent eating quality. That said, there are other trees that produce peaches just as beautiful but you have to hunt through the canopy to find them.

This post is getting a little long, but I'll go ahead and give my two cents on mislabeled trees as well.

As a qualifier, this is what I think is going on and I may be way off.

I think the problem regarding mislabeling at big box stores is the model.

You have a large discount retailer that orders 5000 Redhavens, 5000 Elbertas, 5000 Sentinels, etc. for their stores. The retailer negotiates rock bottom prices. Because of the size of the order, I imagine a lot of nurseries would be willing to accept a very slim profit margin on their trees to get the order.

However, very few nurseries carry that much of one tree in inventory. They need to fill an order for 5000 Sentinels but only have 2000. No problem, they have some extra J.H Hale trees they don't expect to sell. The nursery is going to fill the order one way or another.

Even some nurseries that retail their own stock mislabel trees when they run out of a variety. How much stronger the temptation when the nursery is receiving rock bottom wholesale prices and will never see the end user?

Early on, I bought trees from big box stores. About 50% were correctly labeled. Two peach trees were mislabeled (labeled as white peaches, but were in fact yellow peaches). Two pear trees were correctly labeled. I got a tree from a big box store in my front yard that's about 30' tall now. It was supposed to be a Red Maple, but it's a Yellow Maple.

I didn't take any of these trees back, so the mislabeling didn't have any negative consequences to the big box store or the nursery.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:22AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Yes I agree with you. If they need to fill the order, it will get filled one way or the other. I also look at it as, compared to smaller nurseries that say deal in 100 peach trees, Ill say %2 of them are mis labeled( Not a true fact just an example) Now with a big box store you have a higher number of trees being sold so the number for mistakes goes up. Add that to your idea and the number will go up even more.

Now for my peach tree. I have two red barons, one right next to the other in Dave Wilsons "triangle" method. I still need one more tree but anyways.. The two red barons look totaly different! Last year when the "supposed" red baron flowered it produced small pink flowers. The peach it made was beautiful! I even said now that IS A PEACH! I would say more than %70 red with the most wonderful SWEET JUICY flesh dripping from the skin and peel. So I looked and looked and the tree that I thought I narrowed it down to (First using your method of filling the order by throwing a "red haven" as a "red baron" and then second by the flowers and bark. Now Im not saying that Im correct and I agree with you that an expert cannot tell tree from a tree. I was assuming the worst and chose red haven as thinking #1 it is a popular peach so the nursery would have more on hand #2 It had the name "red" in it so the nursery would think, eh if its a red baron they wont know the difference from a "red" haven" then #3 by all the factors of fruit, flower and bark. I could be %100 wrong and probably am but I am looking for answers because this year has been LONG! LOL..Anyways, this morning I go out after the rain and one of the bud tips has broken off to reveal a nice "green bud". I would assume that is "bud burst" and the pink is to follow? And some have completely fallen off but others are VERY swollen and this green bud is nice and fat and a little pink in the middle. I know I over watered alot during its dormancy and maybe fed it too early?? I mean if it was a "red haven" it would not even have swollen buds due to this area only getting 400 chill hours correct?? So I think I have hope yet!!! This peach tree was soo good!!

And another thing. The other "true" red baron".hehe. I bought it with flowers and then they died and did not produce any peaches. Could it still be too young or maybe a little shocked from transplant? It is about 4' tall with a 3/4" caliper. It has ALOT of branches and it DID HAVE alot of flowers, but not one peach.

Thanks for the conversation!! Hope all is well in your garden! In the passed year and a half out of all of my 7 trees I have only had teo oranges and ONE peach. But they were so good! And my clementine mandarin has A TON of nice little greenies on it!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:53AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Hey ken, I didnt "BLAME" anyone. Im thinking out loud. Too me it sounds like you are on a crusade against big box stores so calm down...

Yes I bought a tree on a coin toss, so what? I narrowed it down to 2 different varieties that I could not pick between. It happened to be my first tree that I bought. And you want to condescend me with you self righteous attitude?? Take a chill pill dude. Its called the learning process. Im glad there are other more friendly people on the net. Im sure you are a nice guy and there are people here that know you but seriously, Its a tree. Calm down. Maybe you have vast knowledge of fruit trees but that doesnt give you the right to jump to conclusions and call people names that they did not earn. I pray that when I am as knowledgeable as you, I will be more understanding and less angry towards new growers.

Indignant? I was never angry in the first place. I was upset at the fact that I "might" have wasted a year on a falsely labeled tree. I was never angry at anyone for the problem other than lost time. We still have yet to see if all this is true. It seems you are more angry than I. I never wanted to point fingers. I never planned on taking the tree back. I wanted advice. Not insults and finger pointing at whos to blame or who mis labeled anything. I dont even know yet if the tree has been mis labeled, It was a notion that I had been kicking around.

If you hate big box stores so much thats your deal. Some people have no problems with them. I have never encountered any problems with any big box store. So now I know that "maybe" they have a problem with there trees. Now that I have learned more I look to different nurseries to find better trees. So before you go on a tirade of hate against big box store and start calling people names because YOU have issues. Clam down, count to ten, and then go water one of your trees and keep your "indignant" attitude to yourself.

I dont have a problem with you but It seems like you have a problem with me? Because I have a possible problem with ONE tree that may or may not been mis labeled by god knows who on the chain of supply?? R-E-L-A-X

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:06PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Yeah from now on we should blame the inexperience consumer who buys a tree under false pretense. Ken and John who do you think you are? I never blamed anyone or wanted to. And if I DID I already know that the recourse lays with the store of purchase. I am not idiot. But remember YOU TWO put those words in my mouth (or on this page). So keep your condescending attitudes to yourself. I wasnt looking to BLAME anyone. Yes if its mis labeled its the fault of the big box store but also the person and place where the mis label originated. Yes I know that where I bought it and whos name is one the receipt is responsible for returns. Are you serious?? I never asked or complained about ANY of that. You two seem to have to problem.

Thanks for teaching me a lesson ON HOW NOT TO TREAT people with less experience that you GOD OF THE GARDEN.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:14PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

I really enjoy this forum, mostly because there is a peaceful sharing of information that has been very helpful in starting my backyard orchard. I rarely see this type of back biting on this forum and hope that it doesn't continue. Luke

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 3:42PM
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Big box stores are a crap shoot. But if you look closely and drive to two Home Depots and two Lowes.Which I did. You can find some great trees. I Have two macs, two jona gold and one golden delicious and they all are well feathered. They have really nice grafts on them. This year I didn't see one nice apple trees at all four places. One tree was labled pear and granny smith on the same tree. It was a Granny smith. Some trees just said semi dwarf apple tree nothing else. You live and learn at box Stores.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:13PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Exactly. Its not like home depot or lowes or anyone for that matter can determine one DORMANT bare root or potted fruit tree from the other. And I mean peaches from peaches, apples from apples, plums from plums...etc The only person who truly knows and who the big box stores and the public RELY ON for initial accuracy is the grower/supplier who had FIRST HANDS on tag and tree. If there was someone who could look at each of the tens of thousands of dormant trees ordered every season buy every big box store, if there was a person who could look at each one and say, "Hey, this isnt a red baron, its a red haven", they would be worth their weight in gold considering big box stores would catch every mis labeled tree before its sold to the public and send them back to the grower/supplier for the correct tag/tree. Consumers and big box stores rely on the initial determination of whoever pulls it out of the ground and ships them LABELED in mass to big box stores. So yes big box stores are responsible for selling the mislabeled tree to the public. But are they aware of it when they do it? Most of the time NO. If I want a refund, Ill go back to where I bought it. But if I want REAL information Ill call the grower of origin. I have no problem with Nakase or big box stores or any other grower. Like people have said, there are GREAT trees at Lowes and HD. And the SMALL percentage of mislabeled trees is so small its a drop in the bucket. Its people who see the bad in everything that make it sound like it happens all the time and is some HUGE conspiracy.

I want to apologize for offending anyone but some people misinterpreted my posts as "angry" when they were not. And saying I, the consumer, is at fault for buying a DORMANT fruit tree that was impossible to identify other than the tag that was placed by the grower and could MAYBE be wrong. I never call people names and I dont read other peoples posts with an angry mindset and attitude. I try to see the good in situations and not the bad. Only god himself can pick a dormant tree with out identification.

Im done with this back and forth crap as I have said all I will say. Im sorry it had to go so far from the topic of what I was trying to say.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:21AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

This is what the flower looks like as it just bloomed 2 days ago. This is not my pic but is THE EXACT FLOWER. My tree is about 2-3 years old and this flower is on 2 year old wood. Im going to give this tree a couple more seasons before I make any "serious" Pleas people, lets not take this thread to seriously

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 11:16PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


That is a "showy" bloom. Redhaven has a non-showy bloom, so you're tree is definitely not Redhaven.

"My tree is about 2-3 years old and this flower is on 2 year old wood."

I know there's been talk of semantics lately on the forum. Language can be pretty flexible, and perhaps here is another example. Peaches only flower on 1 year wood. One year old wood is generally defined as wood grown the previous season. Technically, it's not exactly one year old, but sort of a generally accepted definition.

It can be a little confusing because new growth of the current season can grow fast, quite justifiably prompting someone to label it one year growth, thereby calling last year's growth 2 yrs old.

But as I mentioned, last year's growth is normally called one year old, regardless of how much growth occurs this season.

Off the top of my head, peaches/nectarines and pawpaws are the only temperate tree fruits I can think of that fruit only on 1 year wood.

How about it? Anyone think of other examples of temperate tree fruits that fruit only on one year wood?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:17AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Oh yes I meant that it is flowering on 1 year old wood on its second year of growing. I didnt mean that it was growing on 2 year old wood exactly sorry...hehehe

Here is a pic of a redhaven flower. Its almost the same but the inside is red instead of yellow. Im not saying that this tree is exactly a redhaven but I want to find out what it is. Im hoping that since the tree is so young the flowers will change or something.

Redhaven flower

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:42AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

olpea, sorry I forgot to include this in my post above.

What is the difference between showy and non showy blooms? Also, Im hoping that my tree IS NOT a redhaven. I was under the impression that showy vs. non showy is just in looks? Can you give a photo example? I have always been confused by the two terms.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:45AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


The picture you linked from Sierra Vista Growers is not a picture of a Redhaven bloom, even if they claim it is.

Again that's a showy bloom. Everything I've read says Redhaven has a non-showy bloom, which also mirrors my experience.

Below is a picture of a non-showy bloom. Notice how much smaller the petals are compared to the pictures you linked. About 1/2 my trees have showy blooms and half non-showy. When you're looking at a full sized tree in bloom, the showy ones really stand out. I suppose that's why their called showy.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 12:40AM
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