Annual peach report
Here is my somewhat-annual peach report. I have been growing unusual peaches for about ten years now, looking for the best-tasting and easiest care backyard varieties.
--Snow Queen - all split in rain. No other nectarine split so remove this one. Another California peach bites the dust.
+Mericrest - fruits again runting very badly. Also lost nearly all due to OFM/CM in them. Since I lost so many the fruit did size up more than last year. Taste is awesome, the essence of peach. Hard to take this one out even though it has so many problems. Keep this as my only nectarine.
(++)Gold Dust - Squirrels got all of these. They know good peaches.
-Flat Wonderful - Got a reasonable sample. All had a good flavor, but too watery. Some of that slight savory/anise flavor like Rareripe. Overall not in the league to TangOs, but need to give it a few more years.
++TangOs - Very tasty and very good looking. They are less rubbery this year. Too much curc/ofm damage however, and some rot problems.
(+++)Clayton - all taken by tree devils, sigh.
++Zin Dai Jiu Bao - beautiful large cling peach with elegant aromatic subacid flavor. I think thesew peaches are designed to be picked unripe and then ripen on the counter, the one I ate on the first day was hard and bland and the one I ate three days later was a fine peach. Its not as flavorful as the best white peaches, but has a vey nice well-rounded flavor to make up for it. Definite keeper.
++Winblo - this tree is suffering from borers, fruits are small this year. Still excellent tasting, a go-to variety for ease of growing and taste.
+Ernies Choice - producing huge tasty fruits this year, not top league but still good. Large and beautiful and not very blemished. Flavor seems up a notch from past years and no mealinessthus far, unlike past years.
+++Carman - I have been eating them too early, trying to beat squirrels. Still the greatness is shining through. Later fully ripened ones were excellent, its the great peach I remember. May be more sour than most people want. This is my favorite mid-season white peach.
Lola Queen - squirrels got all, its too close to their entry point into orchard. No big reason to grow this peach, Carman is a notch better and ripens at the same time.
---Violette Hative - tree not doing well due to many borers. Fruits have too much orange peel flavor, like they always do. I should cook these up and see how they do, maybe its a marmalade-peach kind of thing? A squirrel cleared this tree out one day when I was not looking so looks like no marmelade this year.
--Lola nectarine - plenty of splitting and rot here. Remove this since its a problem fruit.
+++Foster - These I was a little late to but they are very good. It is a very sweet peach, much more than others. Fruitnut, this one is calling your name. Also it is more sour than modern peaches. Rot susceptible.
St. John - all rotted as usual. Not sure what to do, maybe its time to give up on this one. It is one of my favorites for taste but they have all rotted for the last several years.
+++Sanguine Pilat - An outstanding red-fleshed variety with very large fruits and as good a flavor as any red-fleshed variety. No rot on this one, particularly good news for a red-fleshed peach.
+++Early Crawford - They are super small this year, rootstock has borers. Some are tasting the usual extraordinary citrus-sweet, but some are mealy. Maybe it was too hot for them this year.
--Le Grand - major rotfest. Remove.
--Longevity - all rotted. Pallas right next to it got relatively little rot so I think this guy must be highly susceptible. Up for removal.
--Lord Napier - all rotted. Also was not sizing up at all. Time to remove it.
++Pallas - I thinned these guys better and they are tasting very good this year. All the honey-type peaches overset to the extreme and need severe thinning to get good fruits.
++Athena - same as Pallas, definitely moving into the keeper category. One ripe fell on the ground and heated up in the sun and tasted truly extraordinary.
JM Mack - All-white unusual-looking peach with standard flavor. Not tasty enough to keep around.
JH Hale - Perfectly decent yellow peach but no home run. Remove it.
+Lady Nancy - Beautiful-looking large fruit not rotting. Unfortunately I didn't get to taste, I think the kids grabbed it.
--Floral Pakistani - super small but has good flavor, lots of that orange rind flavor like the Violette Hative. Still seems no reason to keep, too small and mooshy.
-Peento and Chinese Flat- didn't get any, few fruits and squirlz got em (both trees). Both are not attractive, large scars. These are somewhat less prone to rot and later than Saturn, but the large scars are problematic.
Baby Crawford - all stolen, did have fruits. Tree not very healthy.
+Carolina Gold - this tree is getting good production this year finally, it is a very solid peach. Heavy on the orange in the flavor, a solid peach a small notch down from the other NC peaches. Having some small rot problems but its a rough year for rot.
+++Rio Oso Gem - tree has had bad borer problems. Fruit is excellent, highly flavored and right near the very best.
--Sanguine Tardeva - tree not well so very small fruit this year. Still the usual excellent cranberry taste. This guy probably is destined for the chopping block since Sanguine Pilat is so much bigger and no mealiness.
Eagle Beak - this tree is very weak from borers. The fruits are very prone to splitting -- nearly all of them split this year. Still, this peach is very unusual and good-tasting so I should keep it.
+Xiong Yue - Orange dense-fleshed late peach. Freestone which is unusual for Chinese peaches. Has the creamy Crawford-school flavor but milder. Note that this is based on far too early picked fruits, they were getting knocked off. Surely will be better if left to tree ripen. Definitely worth saving but having some splitting problems.
+++Oldmixon Free - incredible as usual. This is the standard for a late white-fleshed peach. Very reliable as well. I am not completely sure if the modern version is the same as the historical one, it seems larger and more productive than the writings about the original. Whatever it is, its a great peach.
++O'Henry - Very good taste as usual, lots of spotting as usual. Worth keeping.
++Late Crawford - some of these were truly excellent, I now see the reason for the praise for this guy. Not sure why they were not as good before now.
++Indian Cling - squirrels cleared nearly all these. It also had a low crop due to severe pruning I did in spring. Ones I got were yummy, heavy cranberry flavor. Not sure what these are best for, they are too hard for jam. Makes sense that they were traditionally a pickling peach and that may be worth trying with them some year. I expect they may also dry well.
-Heath Cling - getting lots of rot on this one unfortunately. Wanted to try drying them but there may not be enough fruits to bother trying. It is clearly meant as a drying peach, either that or cooking. Need to figure out how to reduce rot on these guys. Rainy late summer has made things particularly challenging this year.
++Indian Free - lot of damage on these; still tasting great as usual.
--Pei Xian Dong Tao - Very late, I doubt I will be able to ripen them even in this early season. Splitting and small siz on top of that says remove.