Wisconsin Balmer peach source

chervil2(z5 MA)August 26, 2008

A few years ago I purchased from Henry Fields a Wisconsin Balmer peach to join my Reliance Peach tree. The Wisconsin Balmer has been a great performer and the peaches taste better than Reliance and do not turn brown upon cutting. I want to purchase another Wisconsin Balmer peach and learned that Henry Fields no longer sells this tree. I tried to do cuttings and they all died. My one Wisconsin Balmer peach is an old tree now and may not live another year.

Thanks for your help in advance.

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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I found your post interesting and did a little searching. I found that it is also called "McKay"

This page listed a source at McKay Nursery Company:

Now I want one for myself, but I doubt if they ship.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:26AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Wallace Woodstock has the McKay peach and they do ship!


    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:43AM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

Thank you very much for the interesting and very helpful information. I will order more trees soon.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 1:59PM
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I actually talked to the guy at Woodstock Nursery. He said that this peach tree the McKay is hardier than reliance ( it also had a steeper price on it)

I am just wondering if you found it hardier than your reliance tree? The guy told me that it has produced peaches in his Zone 4A. I am glad to here that the taste is better than reliance. I almost bought one this year, but I just didnt want to spend the money since I live in marginal peach country.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 4:58PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

In marginal hardiness zones like mine I have taken advantage of microclimates. My peach trees are planted on a hillside facing southwest. While surrounding fields have had heavy frosts in mid-May, my flowering peach trees have always produced fruit. Often winter temperatures dip below minus 10 degrees. However, the cold air settles at the bottom of the hill and there is oftern a large temperature spread on cold winter mornings. I find microclimates easiest to observe by studying snow melting patterns. If I am going to go to all the trouble to grow peach trees I should like the taste of the fruit. Fruit from my one Wisconsin Balmer tree has tasted much better than Reliance.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 8:11PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I have both Wisconsin Balmer and McKay producing peaches in my yard right now. The trees a slightly different with the McKay being a few days behind in maturity and having a more yellow skin compared to Wisconsin Balmer. Both trees have fine quality fruit. I am still hoping to generate more Wisconsin Balmer plants from cuttings. Sadly, I have been unable to root any over the years.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Just last week, there was a post about grafting on a peach tree. It's a long post. If you don't want to read all, skip to the end, they discussed in detail how to chip budding. I attached the link to that post below.

By all accounts, grafting peach is a lot harder than grafting apple or pear. You can also google YouTube on peach chip budding.

I don't know if you can do cutting from fruit trees. Cutting seems to work well with softer wood like pomegranates or figs. I doubt if it'd work with peach.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grafting to a mature peach tree

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 9:45PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)


You may be the only one left with an actual Wisconsin Balmer. I was quite sure by the description that it was the McKay. Very interesting! You may need to become a propagator and sell them.

I was going to purchase a McKay but have found that my yard will support zone 6 peaches so I haven't needed the hardiness. I'd love to get budwood and make a tree for my aunt in Iowa, though.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 10:40PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I am very interested in preserving the Wisconsin Balmer and hope that the forum participants can help me in that cause. Please contact me if you are interested in obtaining cuttings for grafting. I can ship priority. If you are nearbye, we can make arrangements for a visit.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:06AM
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Folks, the Balmer peach is significantly different than the McKay, with the McKay being much more like the Reliance and the Balmer being much more like real good peaches, but not as hardy as the former 2. We have had good luck with green tip grafting peaches onto seedlings, but only if the temperature is above 80F. Now a days we dig up the seedlings and put them in the greenhouse where it is always above 80 and have very good success. We have 10 or so Balmers in various stages of maturity (you need to renew peaches very 8 years or so in the north, which gives you 5 years of production), so we always have new ones starting.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 2:32PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I've had good luck T budding peaches. 90% success if both scion and rootstock are slipping well.

Now would be a good time to do it but you need a rootstock. I T bud peaches here in May, force them after two weeks, and get good growth that year. In shorter season areas they are often budded now and forced next spring.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 2:43PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)


I happen to have a few peach rootstocks, compliments of squirrels stashing my prized peachs a few years back! When you say, "forced next spring", I assume you mean cutting the top of the tree off above the graft?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 3:18PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Inspection of a few of my grafts does not look promising. I know at least 2 dessicated and 1 was broken off. I am quite disappointed but I still want to try.

I ran across a youtube of peach grafting "side grafting" which I thought was interesting. Does anyone else have any peach grafting videos they can recommend?

I also found this one that is really interesting:

It looks so easy in the videos:(

Here is a link that might be useful: Straight and Side Graft, Grafting trees in the Bella Viva Orchards

This post was edited by milehighgirl on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 17:24

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:21PM
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MH, great video, thanks! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 7:29PM
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