some winners of harvest 2013, northeast
It's always fun to post favorite varieties, even if the information is not a reliable indicator of how good they will perform elsewhere. Also there's plenty of variability year to year at any single site. With that caveat I shall list a few I've particularly enjoyed this year. This info may be helpful particularly to northeast growers
Alfred apricot: Not an exceptional apricot, quite small unless you thin drastically, than it is merely small, but at my site it is the first of many I've tried to be very productive. Sets fruit when others fail.
If you have problems with apricots not maintaining healthy foliage this might be the one for you. The fruit has all the flavor you expect from a good apricot. However, if Orangered maintains it's current vigor it will likely make me forget about Alfred. Alfred needs a spray to prevent a lot of scab.
Ozark Premier plum: A couple of other J. plums have impressed me as much this year, such as Satsuma and Early Magic, but this one gets so little love for having such amazing fruit. Meaty, huge and so sweet with enough acid, etc going for it to make it interesting- it baffles me that I never hear it recommended and it has largely disappeared from catalogues.
Messina Peach: Standing behind an amazing Madison tree in my orchard and ripening it's fruit just after Madison starts, it's deep orange flesh and high sugar make it my keeper while I distribute my bushels of very good Madisons. The Madison is almost 25 years old but has all the vigor of a youngster so I have to give it some merit rewards as well. But its flesh bruises so easily it's hard to distribute.
Ernie's Choice peach: It has a lemon kickback with a sugar front that is quite unusual and appealing to me. The crop is finished in a week, though. Good for commercial growing but not so much for the home orchard.
Jonboy peach: An early sport of the old favorite, Loring, I consider it an improvement here over Redhaven- sizes better, deeper orange flesh. It bears over a long period like Redhaven and Madison which is nice in a home orchard peach.
Easternglo and Summer Beaut nectarines: Later nectarines in my orchard have all cracked badly besides Ambre but these two have repeatedly produced uncracked fruit that doesn't require much more attention than peaches here. I love the fruit of both, especially where they are most exposed to sun on a branch.
Ambre fruited for the first time this year and the fruit is still hard with no cracks, but an animal knocked some off the tree and it already is sickly sweet in that sub-acid way. Maybe when it's truly ripe the intense sweet will be attractive but I like nectarines for the acid kick behind the sugar.