Anyone Growing Peaches in the far north??

troman1973(4)June 4, 2007


I bought two contender peach trees last year. Everyone told me that they would never grow in North Dakota. Well they both made it through the winter and I even have one peach on one of them! Now I dont really know how to take care of them. How to prune? Do I have to spray them? I cant be the only one that has gotten a peach to grow up north. Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The issue isn't whether or not certain trees will grow but rather if they will thrive and produce enough fruit to make the cost and effort worthwhile. If you are content with a peach every 2 or 3 years then that's a reward that might be sufficient for you. With dozens of trees to choose from and many of them producing quality fruit, I don't have the energy to put into species that will stumble along stressed year after year.

Sometimes it's fun to push the envelope but probably best to learn about the care needed for a marginal plant before it is purchased. I'll grow great tasting apples, apricots and pears and but am content to buy my peaches at the market. You may get a couple of undersized peaches every few years so perhaps the reward will be in the journey.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Grow your dwarf peach in a large container and mulch heavily in winter and try to prevent it breaking dormancy too early. Peaches aren't all that attractive as trees and not much worth it for an inch sized fruit in colder climes. We grow a couple citrus trees in containers but they are easier to keep healthy as they can be brought indoors in winter.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 1:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The trees I have planted are very attractive. I thought one peach for its second year was pretty good. I didnt put any additional care into them. I guess I will find out next year, when they are suppose to start producing, if it is worth my time. My question I guess is not why I shouldnt be planting them, but how to take care of them. I would appreciate any help from someone who HAS grown peach trees. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
luv2gro(z3a AB)

Great response, troman. I offer every encouragement to you in trying these and I would be very interested in hearing about your results over the next few years. I know many others on this forum would be, too. Wish I could help but it is something that hadn't even crossed my mind to try until I read this thread. Hmmmm . . Shauna's scouting for a peach tree. I've failed with a pear from fireblight but that sure wouldn't stop me from trying a peach, if I had thought I could get it to make it. I knew someone that successfully grew apricots years ago in Edmonton.

I also think that even one peach in it's second year is great. Really, people, are you expecting him to have a couple of pecks of peaches from a second year planting? I found this article for you on pruning peach trees and it seems to have some valid information. Dormant pruning seems to be the best time, but I really would seek advice from someone in the business. Have you tried talking to someone in the orchard business? I realize that peaches are grown in a far higher zone than ours, but they should know their trees well enough to convert some information for you for a colder zone.

Good luck on this growing experience and please let us know how they do. You may start a trend here. I, for one, think any experiment in zone-pushing, is worth the trial. If it comes back and even produces any fruit, then you have succeeded where no one else has.


Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning Peach Trees - Virginia Tech.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I think it's great you're growing peaches in zone 4, and that you already got a peach in the second year. Sorry your parade got crapped on by some previous posters. I wish I could be helpful with regards to caring for the trees, but I don't know anyone around here who has one.

Like Shauna said, keep us posted!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good luck, Troman. One of my dream plants is a peach tree that would be hardy and productive here. Considering the taste difference between fresh-picked, ripe peaches and what we can buy here, I'd be tempted to grow one even if I only ever got 5 or 6 peaches on a good year.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I recall, perhaps 10 years ago, reading a story in the Fargo Forum regarding a peach tree growing in North Dakota(perhaps Bismarck area). While the article didn't discuss any special pruning, I know the grower practiced a huge amount of winter protection techniques--basically building a temporary winter shed around the tree each year. The NDSU Ext service had an excellent columnist who had an article in "The Green Section" each week. I wonder if there would be any archives existing? Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"I also think that even one peach in it's second year is great. Really, people, are you expecting him to have a couple of pecks of peaches from a second year planting? "

These aren't apples or kiwis. These peach trees will deteriorate and not get stronger and not produce more fruit. The first cold winter will wipe them out.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 8:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
luv2gro(z3a AB)

I missed the part that gave this forum the power of opinion to decide whether or not something is worthy of gardening prowess for another member. I don't see anything in the original post asking whether these peach trees were worthy of attention in our zone. But, I did sense pride in having these trees make it through their first winter in a northern zone. Kudos, troman.

I also saw direct questions in the post to this forum that have not been answered by any of you that are being so negative. Have any of you ever tried to grow a peach tree? Does anyone know how to prune them? Is spraying necessary and, if so, what is recommended? If you can't answer these questions, then why are you injecting opinions about something that you have never tried to grow? I can't grow watermelons but I wouldn't dream of telling any of you not to try them or how bad they might turn out.

No excuses from me. I am suffering from a concussion right now that may be making me a bit uncharacteristically harsh with some of you. But, if you search troman1973, this is a first post from this member. Nice welcome from some of you. Shame on you. Would you blame him if he never came back? troman, this is a terrific forum with a very dedicated and friendly membership. Please do not be insulted by a few that seem to be trying to tell you whether to grow peach trees or not. I think you're already growing them.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 12:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it's absolutely fantastic that you're taking care of a peach tree.

There was once a time when the only hardy apples available on the prairies were tiny little fruits hardly bigger than the tip of your pinky. It was decades of hard work done by some very dedicated people that allow us to enjoy the apples we grow in our backyards.

Heck, there's a new cherry shrub that's now available that's completely hardy to zone 3 that makes wonderful fruit.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 2:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

I also think its absolutely exciting that you are able to grow a challenging plant, so what if you are sanctified with only 1-2 fruits a season, who knows what the third year will bring you. ThatÂs the joy of gardening!

If I were to listen to all the naysayer and reference books/catalogues that this and that won't grow in my zone, I'd have a pretty humdrum garden. You ain't going to know till you try for yourself.

Perhaps someone from the Fruit & Orchards forum can help you with the growing cultures.

Way to grow and welcome to the forum Troman. Keep us informed how your peach is doing.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fruit & Orchards

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 3:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


The out pouring of support here is AWESOME. I thought maybe I was being a little rude, but I really was excited about my peach tree making it trhough one winter and I guess I wasnt going to go chop it down now because someone told me that it couldnt be grown. I am new to the forum and really to gardening in general

To tell any of you that are interested, a little more about my experience. First everyone told me that they would never make it, either by the weather or the deer. They sustained a week of over minus 30 degree weather, I went down to them several times, just checking to see if they looked alive and they always seemed to be. I did put a protective plastic wrap around them and put dead leaves on top of them. That is ALL i did for the winter. We also had a warm snap in March and they started budding, and than in April the temps got to 10 degrees again and I thought the buds would not come back. Only one of my trees got about ten flowers and one peach is now coming. I think they went through about as tough a winter as we can get in North Dakota, so i am hoping that next year will be better.

I read the green section in the fourum all the time. In fact I am probably the one that wrote the letter to the fourum about peach trees. Ron Smith is the one that told me that they would probably not make the winter.

I appreciate all the support from everyone, that was really awesome. I will continue to let you know how they are doing, and if anyone has advice for me I will take it!!!

I really like this northern growing forum, I read the fruit forum, and no one there can understand cold weather growing.

Thanks Again

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I planted 2 Reliance peaches from Gurney's about 10 years ago here in Wyoming and most years I get a good crop of big, wonderful tasting peaches. I can my peach crop so I still have plenty to last me through a bad year when an early warm spell and a late freeze kill my blossoms. I think my trees earn their way even in a bad year as they are pretty trees and provide shade and privacy in my backyard. This year I bought a Contender peach to try and I'm looking forward to seeing how it compares with Reliance. I strongly encourage anyone to plant whatever pleases them and don't listen to the naysayers.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 9:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mark_roeder(4B IA)

I have a third year Reliance from Henry Field, sister company of Gurney's, I believe.

It arrived in terrible condition. It was not properly packed, bone dry and appeared dead on arrival.

I planted it and it grew. In its third year now I have about a dozen peaches on it and we have eaten our first three peaches the past few days. We didn't even have bloom the first two years. The Reliance peaches are nearly as good as the peaches of unknown variety we bought at an Alabama fruit stand this year. I am surprised that Reliance is so tasty and juicy after reading reviews on it.

I am very excited and would like to plant a second variety.

One of our neighbors grew Elberta and had peaches regularly for a few years (I'd estimate three years) until the power company trimmed the tree for him, and it died. He bought his at Earl May Garden Center in Cedar Rapids. I am surprised that Elberta is sold around here at a quality garden center.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 6:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
echoes_or(Zone 3)

Ok, an update please. I'm a zone 3 but would love to try peaches... Ok how tall will your trees get? The reason behind that is the wrapping in winter. I'm seeing a 12 foot tall tree wrapped up you see and am thinking maybe my excitement isn't that great. HAHA I have a lovely pear tree that has been growing wonderfully for a several of years, blooms but no fruit. Well I have found out it needs a pollinator. Not sure how I missed THAT on the tag but have found a place to get one for my zone.

I think we all need to try what we want and learn and share our experiences. I have a green grape that is in it's thrid year and I have grapes. Not a lot mind you but grapes are grapes in my book. I figure every year it will improve.

I planted blueberries last year that are for zone 3 and they are not doing well. This is thier second year so I will wait another year. The same nursery that has the pear tree has asparagus both purple and green that is zone 3. Gonna try them....

So I'm very glad about your peaches. Nw I want another update please. LOL

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sometimes the winning is just in the playing. There is a fellow at Broadus, Montana who grows nectarines and I think he even has peaches. He does go to some extremes but gets fruit non the less. He has developed a trench (not sure how deep) at the bottom of which he plants his trees. Then in the fall he covers the trench with plastic. Not sure what else he does but I know he has had fruit from his trees for years. I visited him in about 1987 or so and was impressed with his ingenuity. He developed a nectarine from a cross that is quite a bit hardier than the regular. Anyway I have attached a link where you might find good resources.


Here is a link that might be useful: North American Fruit Explorers

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 6:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Clayton for the link, that is a good site. I heard some people go to great lengths to grow fruit trees not for their area. I actually did not do anything to my trees. They are planted around a shelter belt, but I dont think that matters when temperatures get to -40 below.

Echoes, I dont have much of a update. My trees look extremly healthy. They grown like a weed this summer. I am sure my one tree is over eight feet tall now. This is in the second year!!! I told you that I had one peach start, but it fell off shortly. I dont know how tall they will get, as they have grown like weeds this year. I know I will probably have to prune it down. From what I have read peach trees grow peaches only once on second year wood. I believe you have to prune them so that they grow new wood for next years peaches. I have read alot of things about people trying peaches and have them for one winter and than they die. I am just hoping mine make another winter because they are so healthy. I am in zone 4, but I am so close to zone 3 I usually use that for determining what plants to buy. They said to plant them at least twenty feet apart, so I am assuming that is about the width of them. I know I didnt plant them that far apart, and I am thinking I might have problems in the future. Good Luck it doesnt hurt to try!!!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 12:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I thought I would bring this topic back to life again and see how the guys who had peach trees were doing.

My peach trees are still alive and doing well, but no fruit. This spring was a unusally cold spring, so I dont know if that killed the flowers or if it was our normal cold winter. This year non of the trees flowered, but after my first winter with the trees one of them did flower, so I know it is possible for them to flower just got no peaches. I am interested if pagewalkr had any luck with their contender peach tree and if they had peaches this year. One of my trees has got to be almost ten feet tall this year and I had to cut off alot of die back on it, so growing them in the summer isnt a problem.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I once had read about tender fruit being grown in very cold areas of Russia ... they plant and train the trees to grow along the ground, this way they're protected by the reliable snows received there.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 1:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sherwood Botsford(3a)

When I plant my peach tree (A dream of mine...) I think I'll plant it on the south side of the garage, and espalier (is that the right word) it by the wall. In spring, hang a white tarp from the eaves of the garage to keep it from getting too warm too fast, and breaking dormancy.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 6:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have had 6 peach trees (unknown varieties) growing for me for the last 8 years. The crops give me enough canning fruit for the winter months and are flourishing on their site. They are planted on a south facing "mini" slope and the orchard is surrounded by primary growth forest. They are not exposed to westerly winds in the winter and a straw mulch is placed at the rootline after the first hard frost. I did order a new variety this spring from Golden Bough Nursery called Chui-lum Tao peach and is supposed to be hardy to zone 3a.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 8:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've not tried to grow anything not related to my zone, but enjoy hearing other people's efforts and successes at it. You may or may not have come across this poster's thread, and this would probably be too much for your tree, but it does show what providing good shelter can do (and he adds heat with the light bulb), but in your case, if the shelterbelt (and nearby structures) give good protection, you may be receiving larger crops in the future. Good Luck, I enjoy reading the updates.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zone 6 (i think) palm grown in zone 4

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 10:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cool thread, I'll have to explore this one a bit deeper.

Off the top of my head, peaches in zone 4 sounds great. You and others speak of varieties that I haven't heard of. Only one I've heard of for Northern climes is "Reliance", which supposedly is hardy to -20 F or colder, but has fruit of questionable quality.

I'm in zone 3a, and I push the zone with 2 varieties of plums, Ure pears (plus a grafted pollinator), Valiant grapes, etc. No peaches though, but damn, I'd be keen on that!

If your trees are up to ten feet tall in their second year, it sounds like they have taken nicely to their new home. Most fruit trees take at least 3 years from planting to produce fruit, so don't worry if you aren't getting fruit in year 2. My pear trees took about 10 years to start setting fruit, now they set heavily every year.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 5:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the good response.

My trees are actually in their third summer planted in May of 2006. They have seen every winter get down to at least
-30, but I think the cold spring hurt them more than anything.

Orchidguy I am interested in what zone you live in? I say zone 4 but could easily be zone 3 here. I had never heard of the peach that you were talking about. Can you get those in the U.S.? I am definitely going to get some more info on it. I am glad to here that you have been growing peaches for six years now, gives me hope. Do you get cracks in the trunk and branches? I have noticed a few on mine and am afraid it might split because of the cold.

Thanks to all the responses

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hiya Troman
I dont know if the varieties I have grown are available in the U.S., but I'm sure you can find the latter mentioned Chui-lum Tao at nurseries in the states. I am supposed to be a zone 3, but have a wonderful micro-climate on the property. I grow zone 6 plants with no problem as long as they are placed in the proper area. I live on 886 acres of primary forest (no cutting of trees) and am living by a huge lake. I have no problems with my wisterias, stewartias, franklianas, magnolias,or any of the other trees and perennials that are not even closely recommended for my zone. Most of my plants have been ordered from around the world, and I have never been disappointed in the products sent. I have not had splitting of bark or trunks on any of the trees. The only damage incurred has been rodents.Since I do not use chemicals on the property, or believe in killing the natural inhabitants,therefore, it had been a struggle with the rodents until I decided to have feeding stations for them, and also feeding stations for their natural enemies. The property has an abundance of eagles, hawks, falcons, mink, fox,...(sorry, off on another tangent) The location of any plant material in the gardens are always thought out beforehand. Know where the species originate from and that will tell you what conditions it needs (ie: soil, sunlight, feeding...)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I just learned of a great, hardy peach that has apparently been forgotten. I'll link to the thread here:

The McKay peach is sold by McKay Nursery:;PlantID=1 and Woodstock Nursery

Wallace Woodstock also carries it.

It was listed as a hardy variety in The Backyard Orchardist: A Complete Guide to Growing Fruit Trees in the Home Garden by Stella Otto.

I have placed my order for two trees and look forward to seeing how it does.

The McKay peach was apparently renamed the Wisconsin Balmer by several other nurseries when the patent expired. Now you can only get it from McKay either directly or through Woodstock.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 4:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I actually called Woodstock Nursery and Mckay Nursery. Woodstock nursery actually claim it is hardier than Reliance which is suppose to be the hardiest peach. I was going to buy one, but had already ordered a couple other ones, so I didnt want to many. They are more expensive, but I think I may try one next year.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Orchidguy, it sounds like you've got quite the micro climate there ... where are you located and do you regularly see -40 c in any given winter? I have a very protected backyard, the winds don't much at all hit there and the heat really builds up in the summer, would be a very good location to try some of those very hardy peaches!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am reportedly in a zone 3b-4a, but I guess my plantings haven't read the rating. I live in Northeastern Ontario, and am on 886 acres of prime forest. I am also on the edge of a very large lake. I have approximatly 50-60 acres of landscaped land,growing different species and cultivars of many fruit trees, wisterias, magnolias,many zone 6 perennials and a new batch of camelias available at Greer Gardens for colder climes. The most tender are grown in a courtyard which is center to the tropical greenhouses. The huge trees block prevailing NW winds in the winter months and my garden is usually sprouting 2-3 weeks before any other in the area. I never use chemical fertilizers, I find they tend to produce weak and "watery" growth that doesn't take kindly to cold temps.Your summer heat build-up is great for ripening of fruit, and I cant see why you wouldn't try experimenting. The produce I recieve was well worth the try. Good Luck

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A tiny bit off topic, but the canadian zone system was never meant for perennials. In fact, Agriculture Canada is trying to replace the outdated zone system. There's a new system on their site that asks for information on what people are growing where they live. This will form the basis of their new plant hardiness system.

I was just in California this past week, and got a gardening book for my parents (I'm going back in October to do some landscaping for them). According to the experts that wrote the book, kinnikinik is hardly up to zone 9. LOL.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 2:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I quasi espaliered peaches next to the west side of my house as a kid in Idaho zone 4. They were grown from pits of trees grown from pits and had fruit sporadically. Peaches and apricots seem to be more true to seed than apples and pears. My Grandfather grew all of his trees from pits and has one tree that sets two crops each year, a large early crop in July and then another large crop of smaller peaches in August/September. Kind of a cool tree with two sizes of fruit on it. I've read that the white fleshed peaches especially native midwestern trees like the Indian Free peach are more hardy than the yellow fleshed fruit in Gene Logsdon's Organic Orcharding book. He talks alot about the North American Fruit Explorers. I'd suggest planting them on the east side of your house for protection, not on the south. I read that the south side will warm them up to quickly in the spring and cause them to flower early and freeze. The east side is supposedly best because they get the morning sun to warm them up from the cold nights, but then the building blocks the hot afternoon sun allowing them to bloom later in the season and potentially save the crop from freezing.

I found some native peaches from Iowa talked about on another forum.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 1:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

At our regular monthly meeting last week, our Westman Garden club listened to and were very entertained by Cliff Glen, an avid fruit tree grower who lives in Brandon, Zone 2b.

He espalieres his peach tree...grows it flat on the the sun, but close enough to his caragana hedge that in the winter many feet of snow drifts on top of it. He gets peaches each year. I don't know the variety he grows but could find out if someone wanted to know.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My sister has peaches in Nova Scotia, even though she was told they wouldn't grow there. Her big tree produced about 100 peaches last year, so she's planted a couple of little ones - though she has no idea what variety they are. I'm waiting for her to start making peach jam instead of letting her kids eat all of them. She's my source for blackberry jelly, too.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 2:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lori251(Z4- Twin Cities)

I'm in zone 4 and just noticed that my reliance peach tree made it through the winter and is starting to leaf out. Does anyone know when it will start to flower? I also had a Contender but that looks as though it has suffered from dieback and will need to grow new branches. I covered both with a plywood box that was insulated for the winter and put heat lamps inside when it got below -20. Has anyone else had any other luck with overwintering peach trees? Should I still cover them so they don't lose any prospective flower buds to a frost?


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, after reading the posts here, I've decided to try and plant 2 reliance peach trees. We'll see how they do over the coming years. I do have apple, cherry, pear and plum trees that were planted last year, and they've lasted through the winter. I figure the peach trees may struggle a bit in the first years, but am hoping for some production down the road. Wish me luck!

Northern Quebec

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 8:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I came across this post and I just felt like I had to post. I know that peach trees not only can be planted in the far north, but they can flourish here as well not matter what the naysayers think.

When I was a very young girl, my mom planted a few peach trees. She lives just outside of Minot, North Dakota. Her peach trees are over 30 years old and they have always flourished. She has never taken any special weatherization precautions or given them any special treatment. Yes, they do get fruit on them. She also has pear trees, apricot trees, bing cherry trees, and pie cherry trees.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 11:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It always makes me chuckle when someone from the U.S. considers themselves to be in the far north.

To me, that's "down south", LOL =:)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Minot ND is rated as zone 3b to 4a. That's certainly better than my zone 3a, but it's still much harsher than peaches and sweet cherries would usually grow in. Does your mom live in some kind of microclimate there, like near water or in a protected location? I suspect the warmer summers in ND would help ripen the wood in the tree in preparation for winter as compared to the western Canadian prairies, but I'm still surprised the flower buds and tree itself isn't damaged by the winter chill. Do you know what variety of peach and cherry?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 11:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

GardenNymph78, thanks for posting your comments on your mother's fruit growing in ND. Don brings up many good points ... there's other aspects that factor in when it comes to hardiness, such as longer warmer summers allowing the wood more time to ripen. A coolish summer can leave a tree with soft wood that is very susceptible to winterkill. Also, a tree of borderline hardiness that puts on slow steady growth will often fair better than one that grows rapidly.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 1:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am following this topic with interest. I bought a Reliance peach 3 summers ago, and it has about a dozen peaches sizing up now. Sometimes it makes double peaches, these split in a wind storm and may rot in the split before they fully ripen. This year, I pinched off one of the double ones, leaving a single, and so far, the remaining peach hasn't rotted or fallen off. I have a Redhaven too, but it has trouble with really wet weather and the leaves curl and get red lumps. Anybody know what that is? By the way, the Reliance are tasty when eaten dead ripe and warm from the sun...drool! I have 6 young trees from pits, some from the reliamce and some from grocery store fruits....suppose they might be winter hardy here?


    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 8:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Peaches in Minot! If these trees were seedlings it is very possible that they are actually hardy. I have a friend that had several trees in Hayward WI for many years, a weird early freeze a few years ago killed them. They had many fruit every year. The variety is 'Siberian C'. Does anyone know where we might find this variety? Seed or trees would be great. I would love to try the Minot trees as well.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 6:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Siberian C variety is supposed to be hardier than Reliance, McKay or Contender but the peaches are not particularly big. I know someone in WI that is growing them and this is his website, he might know of a source. You can also get them from a repository in Washington state but I have to look this one up. Peaches can be shortlived in Northern Climates too.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 3:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in Zone 5, used to be 5a, but now the new zone map puts me just into zone 5b. I have had great luck growing Contender peaches. Had to prop up the branches even after thinning. The blossoms withstood several hard freezes too, and still produced. I've ordered one called truGold from gurneys, that's touted as being heartier then Contendor and Reliance. We'll see, if I get the tree. I've ordered it twice before and they canceled the order as they ran out of stock. Also I've found one called Flamin'Fury PF-24C-Cold Hardy that's said to be quite cold hearty. If anyone has tried either of these I'd like to hear how they've done. I've read that truGold is planted on it's own root stock, and can be started from seed.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA new zone map

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This thread has given be a good laugh sorry but at some of your expense. I moved to a zone 2b a few years ago and have been suffering zone envy previously a zone 5 where peaches are a main crop LOL so to read here that people in zone 5 and 6 are excited about peaches is a bit funny to me as that is where they are grown in the Okanagan regularly. Hearing that people in zone 3 and 2 are trying them in micro climates is awesome and having luck. To the zone 4 guy that started this I know it is years later but you go for it!! I suppose everyone needs a good laugh now and then.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 3 year old contender in my back yard in Bismarck ND. Growing well so far, its about 7ft tall and bushy. Got it from Gurneys, bloomed well last spring but a late frost killed the fruit. Hope for better this year. Interested in getting some cuttings from a Mckays tree to graft onto my contender if anyone has one and would be willing to ship at my expense.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

has anyone ever seen a weeping peach shrub/bush i have and the peaches where good and sweet i saved the pits and cracked them all open last year then put the seeds in the compost pile last year and they all where coming up in march 28 so sens it was still cold out i took 4 in and they are all growing well i really hope they grow like the one they came from weeping peach shrub

if they do decide to grow weeping branches like the parent shrub is i'll have 8 of um heres a picture of 3 from the parent shrub.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 3:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've read about the red bumps on maple leaves "jocelynpei" it said its nothing to really worry about so
i go with that.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 3:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I'm hoping we're staying with our far north cold zone 3/4.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 2:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

Several years ago I planted a necterine...something about biting into a fuzzy peach gives me the heebie-jeebies. The first year in the ground it grew quickly, but the winter then promptly killed it....(I thought). Next summer a "coppiced?" necterine sprouted from the base and has since turned into a very large shrub. I wonder if I'll ever get a necterine off of it, but I am quite fond of it as just an ornamental bush. I hope it doesn't turn back into a tree, but so far it doesn't show any inclination of doing that. I haven't noticed any peaches or necterine trees in our zone 5 valley of Montana.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

runswithscissors i wonder why its not made any fruits yet.

on here it says my zone is 6 but on my plant book it says zone 5 for my area of Indiana.

i'll cover mine in the winter plus put something down around them so they will stay a bit warmer well i have a long time before i get any peaches from these shrubs or trees.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is supposedly a fellow in Winnipeg (zone 3a) who successfully grows peaches outdoors. He grows them espalier-style, pruning hard so the tree is dwarfed and grows flat along the ground. In winter he covers it with lots of snow for protection, then lets it do its thing and produce fruit in summer.

There is also supposedly someone south of me in Alberta, in zone 2b I think, who successfully grows peaches in a greenhouse, unheated during winter. The downside to his method is terrible whitefly infestations in the greenhouse during summer.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

but the ones i have. and the main peach shrub doesn't look like its been trimmed down any or at all some branches are up but alot of them are weeping over like a weeping willow tree.

thats pretty bad don555

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

>>thats pretty bad don555 No,.. I would say that's pretty good for zone 2/3

Zone 5/6 comment's here don't really help us out much.

This post was edited by konrad___far_north on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 2:22

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

the whitefly infestations in the greenhouse during summer is pretty bad don555

the plants are good konrad___far_north i was saying the whitefly infestations is bad

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Perhaps the obvious question to consider from this thread is, has anyone had success with the patio plantered dwarf varieties of peach that one can take out in the summer and put away in the winter? People do this with fig trees all the time. This would provide the best of both worlds and skip the green house angle at the same time.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have room in my garage to winter a peach I might just try that if I can get a tree cheap enough. I wonder if a wooden 1/2 barrel would be big enough for it?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

OK..Mike I get it, white flies in the greenhouse can be controlled.
A new thread for container growing might be needed and yes,
I do grow figs.
Wooden barrel should be fine for a couple of years, the bottom might rot out and roots get in, perhaps lining with a tarp and poke some holes. Drill drain holes into the barrel.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

Have you ever seen those big plastic barrel-buckets with rope handles? They sell them at feed stores mostly, but I have seen them at K-mart before. They are waaay lighter than whiskey barrels, nice and tough plastic and so easy to drill holes in the bottom. They are brightly colored...which I think is ugly, but I'll bet a can of dark green or brown plastic paint could cure that problem. This might make a peach tree more "portable" if it's being brought in for the winter.

Miller Nurseries sells a couple of peaches rated for zone of them is your reliance. But they sell some dwarf peaches too.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

yeah i seen those before.

i'll not be bring these back in the house this year i usually just start plants inside then plant them outside after the last frost so thats what i'll do with these peach trees/shrubs.

im at zone 5.

it's fine konrad___far_north

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've not had any dwarf peach trees unless the ones i have now are dwarfs.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks RWS those sound so much better than the heavy barrels. I did have clay pots when I was in Kamloops but they break here I only have 2 left but have to empty them each year. But those plastic barrels are a great idea and they're fairly cheap too.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Someone from Steinbach, bamby_lee, is trying to find out more info about growing peaches in Manitoba, by an email to me thru Garden Web. The only problem is that they have their settings with Garden Web set so that no emails can be sent to them.

If you want Cliff Glenn's phone number search Canada 411 and put his name and Brandon, MB as the location and it will come up with his name and phone number.

If you want to talk to me by email, please change your settings so I can respond to you.

Thanks, Brenda

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 2:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm in Calgary and had two amazing genetic dwarf red empress peach trees last summer produce so many peaches they needed thinning. I over wintered them in pots in my window well along with a larger peach tree. Last year I also planted one in the ground that 95% died but stayed alive and shot out branches above the graft. It suckered like crazy also but I got rid of it. A couple weeks ago. It's quite amazing that that peach tree survived along my very hot south west facing fence in southern Alberta . Winters are pretty up and down. With proper protection I know they will survive.
My three potted peaches I did not think about sunlight acclimation and put them from my window well to along my fence and roasted them. The buds were opening in my window well before I murdered them.

The way to grow peaches is the same a grapes. They need to be covered and low to the ground. Their are only a handful of true genetic dwarf prunus perscia they don't grow taller than 4foot and could easily be covered in snow.
The tough part is they need a southwest facing location to ripen the fruit and its very hard to keep the snow frozen until may when it'd be safe break dormancy.

I'm currently trying genetic dwarf nectarines golden prolific. It's a white fleshed free stone. I have no problem getting fruit to ripen here its just finding a location to plant these trees is tough.

There is a orchard in sask that grows normal sized peach trees but he grows them on the ground and covers up as explained above.
One could do the exact same thing with the genetic dwarf peach/nectarine trees and have a cute little attractive tree instead of an ugly oblonged peach tree .

Anybody else's thoughts??

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 11:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would think genetic dwarf peaches could be buried in leaves and then covered on the top and sides with several layers of insulation. Keep it dry, and covered into mid April. They should be fine. I do this with figs and have overwintered lemons and mandarins. I have also done the same with many palms. The key is to keep them cool in the spring as long as possible to delay blooming until it is safe enough that a very hard freeze is unlikely. It is such a joy to have success with plants that "can't grow here. Another thought on the peach would to keep it as a bush and cover it with an insulated box. When temps drop below -4F/-20C use a small light bulb in the box. Hope it does not not reach -40F/C as I think it may be tough to keep temps above the -10F/-24C threshold for damage/dieback. My peaches er in Colorado Springs, CO are perfectly winter hardy, it is the late extreme cold spells that kill much of the crop. My contender peach fruited with a partial crop after spring freezes to +10F and +19F about 10 days later. Most other fruit trees had their fruit nearly wiped out. The 19F had sustained winds near 30mph all night adding to the penetrating freeze. Cheers to those that grow what can't be done.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 8:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

if anyone had any success in growing peaches in zone 4 or colder, I would love to get my hands on pits to try and grow them, or cuttings else the name of a Canadian supplier.

I am trying to get in touch with Golden Bough Tree Farm, but they do not seem to carry Chui Lum Tao peaches any longer.

By the way, you guys might want to read the following post on how to grow peaches in northern climate:

Here is a link that might be useful: how to plant peaches in zone 4

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 8:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am from Fort Wayne, IN, which is in the North-eastern part of the state. I bought a Contender Peach because it was said to be hardy for as cold as zone 4, and is self-pollinating. For the first three years I got plenty of blossoms, but only one or two random peaches. I usually pinched them off to give the tree energy to focus on growing larger and stronger instead of worrying about one or two peaches. Then two years ago, on the tree's fourth year with me, I decided I had to be missing something, so I looked up how to get a good crop of peaches, info on pollination, instructions on fertilization and spraying. Since then, I have had no trouble getting large crops of peaches from my tree. It usually blossoms before the appearance of bees or other insects, so I pollinate it myself. I get large crops of large and lovely peaches, provided I thin them out properly at an early stage. ( I don't really understand why everyone is so surprised that someone is growing peaches in Indiana, but it is possible.) Once I figured out that it wasn't getting pollinated properly in the beginning and took matters into my own hands, the tree exploded with blooms. The first crop two years ago was perhaps 50 or 60, and then last year I was able to get a sizeable crop from just one tree, and had enough to make canned peaches AND jam. I bought another tree this year. I would recommend that if you are in a colder climate zone, your tree most likely will blossom before the appearance of insects, so you may have to pollinate the tree yourself with a soft bristle paint brush (a small sable artist's brush works). Just rub the inside of the blossoms and it will transfer all of the lovely pollen to each bloom. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it! Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kat1esM0m, that is good information regarding pollination and I am envious of your bounty of peaches :) .... now, if they would only be able to develop a reliably hardy zone 3 peach there would be many happy folks up here in the north.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kat1esM0m, or anyone else growing peaches in zone 4, I would LOVE to get my hands on pits. They do not require any stratification, so they can be grown right away (I did last year).

I have Donut peach seedlings so far, said to be moderately hardy (not sure if they made it through this harsh winter, but they were well protected under a thick layer of snow). And I did get some reliance cuttings I will try to graft, but seedlings coming from hardy plants would be much, much better! :)
I am in Canada, but I did purchase apricot and peach pits from the US in the past and they made it through no problems. I'll cover any postal fees.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 3:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All peach seeds require stratification. I did many last fall. Some popped 3-4 weeks after some still are not . Same with apricot amd plum ,i have many little dwarf nectarine seedlings growing. Unfortunately 3 years in a row I've lost my peach trees so this year I've given up. Peaches cannot survive outdoors in calgary they cannot handle minus 35.
Peaches need lots of sun to ripen fruit and early pollination which doesn't happen in Alberta easy. You can grow them low and cover but its a lot of effort.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am not saying it would not work with stratification, but I had seen on the web you can get peaches to grow without the stratification period, so I tried it. And guess what, it worked just fine.
Here is a video link of a guy whom tried it (ok, it is not the best video, but you get the idea)
I now have three seedlings grown that way.
The technique: you just have to remove the pit from the shell and place them in a ziplock/container with a moist paper towel along with some peroxyde. Let it sit on a window still and after a few days, it starts to grow.
Works with apricots too.

This post was edited by ajetteaqua on Mon, May 5, 14 at 20:43

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 8:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is an orchard in Saskatchewan in what I believe is zone 2 that has experimented with growing peaches and nectarines outdoors. Not sure if they are still doing this currently, but they did manage to get them to bear fruit in the past, although the amount of effort to set up a protective straw bale structure and so on seems vastly out of proportion with the minimal harvest. Still, it's an impressive accomplishment.!prettyPhoto

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I planted a Reliance two springs ago in May 2012. August/September 2013 i received about 20 spectacular peaches. My nieghbor has same tree about 15-20 years old with 100s of peaches every year. However, this year both our trees have about 3-4% leaves on them right now. we have buds all over the place but none of them are opening. We had one of the harshest winters in WI but my Lapine cherry tree is thriving. Is anyone else not having the buds open up on their peach trees this year or is only my nieghborhood?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My grandfather developed a method of growing peaches(any variety) in zone 4 as far back as the 30's. It is very labor intensive but can be worth it. Peaches are very fast growing tree and can be manipulated easy. This allows one to control the tree easily. Start by planting the tree at a 45 degree pointing north. The first winter the tree will be small and easy to tie up like a rose bush. Tie the tree to the ground and cover with hay. I usually do this the last week of October. It's also good to put some mouse poison with the tree so it will be there in the spring. Here in zone 4 I like to uncover the trees the first or second week of April. Trim off any limbs that may have died over the winter and any that cross or "crowd" the tree. You may have some blooms the second year but I disregard these. The end of the second season the tree will be large. The trick this fall is to tie the tree up again without breaking limbs. If you pruned properly you should have little problem. This fall since the tree is larger will take more hay to cover it. When you uncover the tree in the third spring it should be full of buds. If the spring is cold and you see no bees working the blossoms use a small paint brush to pollinate the flowers. I spray the tree when I spray the apple trees, but it is more important to spray in August to prevent peach bores.
This is a quick "how to" but has worked for me when I would like to have a ripe preach.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 8:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Tom2751, I live in Idaho as well and am intrigued by your grandfather's method for maintaining peach trees in cold climates. Would you mind sharing some pictures, if you have any, of planting and/or preparing them for winter? I'm a little confused on the 45 degree planting and subsequent pruning. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2015 at 12:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

In this link you can see how Dean and Sylvia Kreutzer grows them, [one way],....including sweet cherries etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Over The Hill Orchards - A Saskcess Story

    Bookmark   January 17, 2015 at 1:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the very interesting video Konrad, I enjoyed it very much.

Tom2751, years ago, I used the same "lean" technique and successfully wintered two young peach trees. Though, unfortunately, a bad hailstorm struck and pretty much destroyed them and the few fruits that had formed. But, I think I'll try again at my new location, the soil here should also produce better growth for peaches and 'Lapin' cherry I'm also considering.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2015 at 1:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

pyrus0118(4b/5a), I cannot find any pictures of this procedure other than a few pictures of the trees in bloom or young fruit on the limbs. The reason for the 45 degree angle to the ground (vs.upright) is to be able to tie the tree to the ground. Once the tree is tied as close to the ground as possible I cover it with hay. Closer to the ground less hay used. I use old electric conduit and wide nylon straps for this "tying" procedure. I will be planting a few new trees this spring and will try to take pictures as I go. My current trees are too big to move and are in the wrong place, so I have let them go this year. Any other questions let me know - glad to help.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 10:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sherwood Botsford(3a)

You may want to try espalier too. Initially grow as a cordon only a few inches off the ground. train individual branches at your 45 degree angle.

Part of this depends on the dying mode of peaches, it can be any of:

* Cold. The plant can't pump enough water out of cells to keep the cells from rupturing. The minimum temperature is the key here.

* Desiccation. The roots can't move water. The combination of sun and cold dries out the buds. The length of the winter, and the number of sunny days is the key here.

* Timing. Some trees bloom too early, then lose all the blossoms to a late frost. Prunus generally are noted for this. Key here is to site the tree carefully so that it stays cold later into the spring. Try planting it on the north edge of a building shadow the week that is normal bud break for your area.

Some plants have flower buds that are more tender than vegetative buds. I have a forsythia that blooms where it was covered with snow. So I try to bury it with the snowblower.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2015 at 8:05AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
crabapple trees
The woodpeckers have done a real number on one of my...
Raspberries for zone 4
Hi Far N gardeners, I'm not exactly "far"...
So How Many?
Yeah, its winter and I am bored being stuck inside...
SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC
Has many one tried for roses?
I came across this site,,...
prairie_northrose (3a north of Calgary, AB, Canada)
Magnolia xloebner "Spring Welcome"
Hi, Does anyone know where to get this Magnolia in...
Sponsored Products
Union Mid Size Sectional
Opulent Items
Area Rug: Candice Olson Ivory 5' x 8'
Home Depot
Modern Classics Peach Cream and Taupe Rectangular: 5 Ft. x 8 Ft. Rug
$876.60 | Bellacor
London Transport Mug
$19.99 | Dot & Bo
Juliana Task Chair with Adjustable Tilt Tension Control
30 x 22" Apron Genuine Gray Granite Stone Kitchen sink - LAGOS
Vintage Chalkboard Hanging Sign Tags with Strings
Classic Hostess
Colonial Mills Courtyard Braided Rug - CY64R024X036S
$22.98 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™