Color of Reliance peach tree blossoms?

lenvtMay 8, 2013

Wondering if any experienced peach growers have any thoughts here.

Last year our neighbor ordered two bare root Reliance peach trees, one for us and one for himself. So this is their second year in place, trunks almost 2" in diameter. They've both had the same treatments, and are doing well.

BUT. The blossoms on our tree are small .75" light pink with a dark pink center. His tree has 1.25-1.5" sized blossoms which are pure, dark pink.

Do we both have reliance peach trees? They were sold thru a fund raiser and both trunks had a white, painted mark on them.

Ideas? ID's welcome!


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alan haigh

No, the showy blossoms are most certainly not a product of a reliance peach but since the source got that part wrong I wouldn't be very confident that yours is a reliance either.

Peaches have two distinctive flower types one showy and the other not so much- the showy ones do come in different tones from light pink (Sweet Tango) to darker red (Early Star). Every variety is absolutely true to one type or the other.

Funny, the same thing happened to a client of mine this season- fortunately they were small and cheap container trees, but just like yours, two trees were both labeled reliance and had those separate flower types.

If you can grow a less hardy peach than reliance you may end up with a better peach as reliance is relatively low quality.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:10PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Here's a photo of some light-pink showy flowers (from Tango NJF 16) than Harvestman mentioned. This is from 3 weeks ago, on a 2nd year tree.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:17AM
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Thanks for your answers. I had thought as much. Bobz6's photo is about right size wise. I'd classify the color as the darker red. Too bad for me! I'd have loved to try a better peach than Reliant. We're zone 5, and probably could have pulled it off.

My flowers are smaller, with a dark red eye. A google image search isn't
100% showing flowers like mine as Reliant but you can't always judge the source material.

We'll see what we get, if anything. We've pruned them, now we wait. Good thing they are a bit of a lark! Now I'm more interested than ever!

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 6:27AM
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alan haigh

You can certainly grow a range of peaches in 5 and reliance is not meaningfully better at any rate. Its flowers may be hardier by a couple degrees, but that only means if lowest winter temp is, say, neg.18-20, you may get fruit on the reliance only. One neg. degree higher and it gets no fruit, one lower and any reasonably hardy peach will have fruit.

It's reputation for reliability has nothing to do with resistance to spring frosts. Interestingly, in the Hudson Valley last year with 24 degree frosts after bloom Sweet TangO was the best producer of all the commercial varieties widely planted- including Red Haven and the like. Did exceptionally well on my property as well, but its squirrel magnetism cost me its crop.

I don't think commercial growers plant reliance even on the northern fringe of peach range, which probably says something.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:34AM
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Here is my reliance flower

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:00AM
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Thanks for the additional thoughts harvestman and the photo Olympia! Going by that I'd say mine is a reliance. Am I supposed to be saying "darn it" right now?

There is a lesson here... When my neighbor offered to add a tree to his order, I thought We'd discuss varieties. He may not have even known there was a choice. I can't complain though, if not for him I wouldn't have any peach tree at all!

Thanks again. Another neighborhood mystery solved!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:07PM
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I supposedly have 3 reliance peach trees. All purchased
from same source but at different years. Two match in
flower color, growth characteristics ect. The 3rd tree
does not match at all (more upright, flowers darker pink).
Odd but this tree does ripen same time as the other two.

I am not sure if it was mis-labeled or the branch the budwood was taken from is a sport of Reliance?

I will attach a photo of my oldest Reliance in bloom.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Here is a shot of the weird 'reliance' peach tree.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:13PM
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alan haigh

Mistakes or carelessness- particularly at nurseries that don't cater to commercial growers are probably many thousand times more common than the occurence of a sport.

Len, don't assume that yours is reliance- there are hundreds of varieties with similar (to my eye, identical) flowers.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:45PM
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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

OK, I am curious as to whether you got anything on your trees this year.

When I lived in the Chicagoland area, we purchased a house with a Mature reliance in the back yard. We got bushels and bushels of fruit. I did some eliminating of smaller fruit early on and still had to brace the branches. One summer, we canned at least 15 quarts of peaches (for pies) and gave away lots.

Harvestman might not particularly like them, but that does not mean that someone with a tree like this in the back yard will not appreciate the taste, size and abundance of the reliance peach.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 5:34PM
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alan haigh

I've had delicious Reliance peaches, but there are better ones in its season and I don't believe that its supposed hardiness is worth much compared to something like Redhaven. It was a great marketing ploy that assured all purpose nurseries to this day often carry it as their only peach in zones where you can grow a very wide array of peaches.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 7:05PM
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Obviously an old thread revived here, but I'll pitch in a little info. I have a Reliance that is 6yo it has a heavy crop on it even after thinning (we missed some spots) I have branches supported. As the tree goes it is a good tree. The peaches I got last year were great if compared to grocery store, but clearly not like my Friends Red Haven

I would not pull out a Reliance that has started, but given the opportunity to bud graft some Red Haven or other great peach, you should do it. I did just this week and looking forward to the eventual result. I grafted on 3 additional varieties to spread out the ripening time of the tree

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 10:03PM
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I don't think I have a very discerning taste because I had reliance, redhaven and some others overlap in ripening, so could taste them at the same time and they were tasting the same to me.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 10:50PM
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alan haigh

lkz, there is also a chance that on your site they perform similarly.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 6:19AM
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I've heard so much poo-pooing of Reliance that I just don't get it, my 8th leaf tree has been extremely productive survived the weather extremes of this desert called the plains and always produced fruit I like and use ever bit of. This year we canned over 48 qts. of nectar and it is absolutely delicious. there would have likely been double that amount but I didn't get off my butt and deal with the GJBs who hammered the crop leaving me worth about half of what could have been.

Maybe as H-man said, the site is important and I have a good site. Maybe I'd eat a dirt clod and think it's a perfect peach, kinda doubt it. Organoleptic qualities are subjective and personal. Too bad I was so busy harvesting and processing fruit I forgot to run a brix test with my refractometer at least, duh. Another year or 2 and I'll be comparing Reliance to Redhaven.

Oh yeah, I'd include a pic of my blooms but don't want to jump the Photobucket hoops at the moment, they definitely are pink though, not especially dark or 2-toned pink.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:43PM
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