Ideal Time to Plant Dwarf Peach? (7a)

L(7)September 17, 2013

I know this will seem like a horribly stupid question, but when is the best time to plant peach trees in NJ (7a)? I've read Spring, but I've also had a couple people tell me I should do it now.
Those telling me to plant during Fall claim that they will have better roots. I'm just weary of this option because my gut tells me it'll be too cold soon to allow much of a head start. I can't find any solid answer on the internet, and was hoping someone could offer some advice. Not sure what the best route is for a novice..

Thanks in advance!!

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I'd agree with the plant it now plan. Either will work in your climate. But there is no downside to planting a potted tree now.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:05PM
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ljkewlj

I did fall planting of bare roots trees last fall up here in S.E. CT. and must say that I prefer it to spring planting. The fall/winter up here has been pretty mild in like the 45-55F temp a week before Thanksgiving for at least the past 4 or 5 years for the most part. Spring has been aweful the last number of years to predict...could be 70-80F or 30F with 3 ft. of snow on the ground. I planted the following which turned out fine the next spring.
Euro pears:Colette,Moonglow and Max Red Bartlett
Asian pear:Maxie
Hybrid plum:Bubblegum

Alan Buckingham of the book titled Grow Fruit says it's ok to bare root or container plant apples,pears,plums in the fall. Apricots bare root only in fall. Cherries and peaches bare root or container only in the spring.

I'd say try it but if you do, get a bare root from Stark Bros. or some place that will guarantee it. This way if it doesn't work out you haven't lost much and can replant later in the spring. Peach trees are fast growers.

Take my advice with a grain of salt...I've only been doing this for 2 years now and others like fruitnut etc. have much more years of experience then I do.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 5:00PM
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curtis(5)

If you have found a good tree then do it now. But I'll ask a couple of questions that may help you in the bigger picture. why dwarf not semi dwarf? dwarf trees need support their whole life semi anchor themselves fine and can be kept small by pruning. They don't grow all that fast.

what peach variety ? There are some really great tasting peaches and some that miss the boat. When I got mine the nursery was pushing Reliance, but I have since learned isn't a very good peach. It's name implies it is a reliable tree, but the growers who have tried it do not find it to hold any advantage in reliability over the great tasting peaches like Red haven, Contender and etc. so post your variety here and get some feedback from experienced growers.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:01PM
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eboone_gw

Planting a potted tree in the ground now or a bare root tree after all leaves have dropped has the advantage of the roots growing and getting established over the fall and winter. You won't see the changes going on under ground, but it is supposed to be an advantage except in the harsher winter climates.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 1:53PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

If it's a dwarf peach it must be a genetic dwarf. Some are OK, some are fantastic and could compete against any peach in taste. Farmer Fred has many peach trees and his fav is a dwarf. He is a master gardener with two radio shows. After hearing that and seeing how cool they look I want one! I think it was a Honey Babe? Sells on Lovell rootstock. So I don't see why it would need support??

And I'm planting a plum tree in zone 6A, but not for another month. It's still too warm. I would plant it now, but that's what the nursery is telling me. It's too warm!

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Sep 18, 13 at 20:01

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 7:50PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"Planting a potted tree in the ground now or a bare root tree after all leaves have dropped has the advantage of the roots growing and getting established over the fall and winter.Planting a potted tree in the ground now or a bare root tree after all leaves have dropped has the advantage of the roots growing and getting established over the fall and winter."

Eboone, I've also heard this claim before but it doesn't conform to my experience. I've planted trees in the fall and decided to move them the following spring. I've never observed any root growth over the winter.

I agree with Drew if the peach is truly a dwarf, it's probably a genetic dwarf. There are a few dwarfing rootstocks for peach, but they are rarely used.

Many times retail outlets will claim the peach they are selling is a dwarf, but in fact it's simply a regular sized peach on full vigor rootstock.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:08PM
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eboone_gw

"I've also heard this claim before but it doesn't conform to my experience. I've planted trees in the fall and decided to move them the following spring. I've never observed any root growth over the winter. "

Maybe a myth spread by nursery companies so they dont have to store their bare root products over the winter? :)
I know I have read this from many sources, and have planted a few trees bareroot in the fall that did OK, but I do not have the experience of rechecking roots. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:51AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I may be wrong, but fall planting the plant has at least a chance to settle in. You may gain a little time in the spring. I doubt it would grow much or at all. But would be established, at least more established if planting in spring. Peach trees are cool because they seem to really come back from transplants. I have had bushes that really took a long time, sometimes not making it. Well trees too. But if they take, they take off. Cutting them back seems to hinder them bigtime, but I understand why one would want to. i did but took it easy. I have had problems with currants, and Service Berry trees becoming established. Honey berries seem to do OK. Brambles also are very easy to transplant.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have moved fall planted trees again in spring and observed small white roots growing. So I think it does happen sometimes. Also the tree roots will be able to adapt to the pH an microbes of the soil etc.

Still, overall I plant when its most convenient and thats usually spring.

Scott

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:47PM
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