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Seedling peach tree success/proof that it's worth it to grow from seed.

 
pollinator
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This tree is 2 years old, and produce at least a bushel of delicious peaches, and the blossoms survived 2 frosts. I cut it down two years ago because I thought it was a dud, it had tiny yellowish pink flowers and didn't produce fruit so I didn't think it was a true peach. I cut it down and grafted scion wood from another seedling peach that is the same age and also produces good fruit, but the grafts failed and this year it surprised me and made an abundance of peaches. This is in zone five. Out of four original seedlings, I now have four producing fruit,  three of which are good, and one that is a sour grapefruit tasting dud, which I plan to graft the others onto. One makes a large yellow peach, one a small yellow red peach and the newest on is a large orange red peach. I cut them all down at one point or another over the last 4 years because some rabbits got loose and girdled them. One of them has been fruiting for 2 years and has given me several babies from fallen fruit. I find that if I feed them compost like tomatoes they grow like crazy and produce early.. Just want people to know that peaches are definitely worth growing from seed, at least up to zone 5.
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pollinator
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Awesome, I have a seedling plum, nectarine and a peach.
They are all fruiting at the moment and exceeded the store bought grafted ones.
 
Dan Allen
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Gurkan Yeniceri wrote:Awesome, I have a seedling plum, nectarine and a peach.
They are all fruiting at the moment and exceeded the store bought grafted ones.



Yes!  Seedlings are the only way to go in my opinion. Even for apples. I've never eaten an apple from mine yet, but it doesn't matter because I'm using them for rootstock. I've grafted up to four named varieties per seedling and many of them have taken. I usually leave enough of the original seedling to taste in the future. They grow much faster than potted grafted trees too.
 
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Wow, awesome pictures and results! I heard peaches did pretty well from seed, but that sounds even better than I expected. I think it was Luther Burbank that said if everyone planted fruit seeds, we would have many more good varieties well suited for each particular climate.

I'm exited about doing this soon too! My peach trees would have produced this year for the first time, but the bugs got in them really bad this year. I'm going to protect them this coming up year, so I'll hopefully have some good peaches and peach seeds to plant next year!

I do have some baby Triumph muscadine grape seedlings that came up as volunteers this year, so I'm exciting to see how they do and the fruit they bear. Keep up the good work!
 
pollinator
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I was sceptical, but this year i had quite a lot of nice peaches of my three year old seedling volunteer. I read peaches were the first exotic invasive species in USA on permies somewhere. I saved all seeds of my three peaches , it was mad this year, i made peach wine for moonshine. I had 300 maybe, and agreed with the farmer to have a lot of peach trees, we have some cooperation going on. I planted 200 of those. If a hundred come and fifty get big after moving to definite spot and 25 have good peaches, it will be great. For us in the community, and for the wildlife that will gubble up what we don't use. Peaches, pears and apples used to grow in the hedgerows my local neighbour says, and now hunters complain there is no wildlife like used to, but everybody has these neat hedges with nothing edible in it.
 
Steve Thorn
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Hugo Morvan wrote: Peaches, pears and apples used to grow in the hedgerows my local neighbour says, and now hunters complain there is no wildlife like used to, but everybody has these neat hedges with nothing edible in it.



Seems like the natural adaptation of fruit trees growing from seed and vigorous in that climate created a little permaculture haven in the hegderows. :) It's encouraging to see ideas of growing food shifting back in that direction!
 
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I have two trees from seed, both in containers, as I live on a very rainy island :)  I was convinced they were both doughnut peach seedlings, but when one fruited for the first time this year it turned out to be a nectarine.  I can't say it was a particularly spectacular fruit, but I'll give it another chance at least, and there's still the other (younger) tree which will hopefully fruit next year (four and three years old respectively).  Both little trees are very sturdy, despite growing in pots.  My young son and I have planted several seeds from storebought peaches this summer, so maybe we'll get a few more up next spring too.
 
Dan Allen
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Here  are a few second generation seedlings, all first year.
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Dan Allen
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And a two year old nectarine seedling, has been munched down by deer a couple times.
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Dan Allen
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And here is a seedling apple with several named varieties grafted on. It's about 12' tall and three years old. I used a tongue and cleft and just wrapped with cellophane.
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In climates with wet winters peach trees are susceptible to peach leaf curl the following spring. Some varieties have been developed that have strong resistance to that. I wonder if planting the pit from these would generally carry on this gene? Has anyone tried it?
 
James Landreth
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Galadriel, do you have problems with leaf curl there too? Have you thought about grafting over the seedlings if the fruit still isn't satisfactory?
 
Steve Thorn
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James Landreth wrote:In climates with wet winters peach trees are susceptible to peach leaf curl the following spring. Some varieties have been developed that have strong resistance to that. I wonder if planting the pit from these would generally carry on this gene? Has anyone tried it?



Some of the offspring should carry that trait from the parent but some may not. I'm interested in breeding tasty disease resistant fruit by selecting vigorous growers in our hot humid climate where lots of fruit trees struggle.
 
Steve Thorn
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Dan Allen wrote:And here is a seedling apple with several named varieties grafted on. It's about 12' tall and three years old. I used a tongue and cleft and just wrapped with cellophane.



That is one tall apple! Any fruit yet?
 
Dan Allen
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No fruit yet. I think it should next year because it appears to have blossom buds on it. But not the grafts, I just did them this spring. They did take, at least 3 of them put out new growth. Hopefully I'll be able to try the fruit next fall. If it's no good I'll cut down that tall whip and focus it's growth on the grafts, it has Johnathan, golden delicious and honeycrisp.
 
G Freden
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James Landreth wrote:Galadriel, do you have problems with leaf curl there too? Have you thought about grafting over the seedlings if the fruit still isn't satisfactory?



Yes, they both got some degree of leaf curl, though both shook it off fairly well, with a lot of growth over summer.  I have an almond tree too (a bought, grafted specimen) which also gets mild leaf curl.  Most UK gardening sources suggest growing in containers partly to combat leaf curl--apparently the fungus is introduced through rainfall during flowering.  But containers are also recommended because we generally have such cool summers and a warm patio (or a greenhouse) is more likely to coax fruit than a more exposed position in the garden.

Grafting is a great idea, and if one tree is superior, I'll definitely try it.

 
pollinator
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I planted seeds from my fridge today between rain storms. Apple, plum, nectarine, and peach. I was excited to see the nectarines were starting to sprout.  Hopefully they will do their thing and come up in the spring. If not I will try again next year.

They cleared a bunch of foliage in my apartment complex back in the city. I am bummed because there is that much less privacy.  But happy because I might get enough light now to grow things and that is a nice thought. Trying to look at the bright side (literally).
 
Dan Allen
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Sonja Draven wrote:I planted seeds from my fridge today between rain storms. Apple, plum, nectarine, and peach. I was excited to see the nectarines were starting to sprout.  Hopefully they will do their thing and come up in the spring. If not I will try again next year.

They cleared a bunch of foliage in my apartment complex back in the city. I am bummed because there is that much less privacy.  But happy because I might get enough light now to grow things and that is a nice thought. Trying to look at the bright side (literally).



That's awesome, and admirable. Plant trees everywhere. I plant fruit trees at all my favorite fishing spots with my son. Eat a peach plant a pit.
 
Dan Allen
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Update on the peaches:
Well, it seems they had a rough time this winter. The lowest low was -26 in January for a full night. That's a solid zone 4 winter, the last time we had temps like that was 2014. The trees survived fine, some minor tip die back and very few blossoms, around fifty compared to the usual uncountable flowers. Second generation seedlings all survived with even less tip burn. Even through sassafrasses and catalpas got burned this winter. First pic is the unusual blossoms of the large yellow peach, second pic is a seedling leafing out, third pic is another seedling peach with normal blossoms. Our spring is a full month late this year.
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Dan Allen
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And here are several grafts that I put on a seedling apple last spring. No fruit on this one yet. But all grafts were successful, so if the seedling produces good fruit it will have four varieties.
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Steve Thorn
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Dan Allen wrote:Update on the peaches:
Well, it seems they had a rough time this winter. The lowest low was -26 in January for a full night. That's a solid zone 4 winter, the last time we had temps like that was 2014. The trees survived fine, some minor tip die back and very few blossoms, around fifty compared to the usual uncountable flowers. Second generation seedlings all survived with even less tip burn. Even through sassafrasses and catalpas got burned this winter. First pic is the unusual blossoms of the large yellow peach, second pic is a seedling leafing out, third pic is another seedling peach with normal blossoms. Our spring is a full month late this year.



That's really neat that the second generation has even less tip burn.

It's awesome that they're even more adapted to your area, super encouraging to hear, very cool Dan!
 
Dan Allen
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I'm kinda bummed that the cold knocked back so many blossoms, but I'm fairly confident I'll get a little fruit off them this year, but nothing like last year's harvest. I potted up another fifty seeds from my best two trees. On a related note I have a peach tree that is a grafted cultivar, from a nursery and is about 8 years in the ground. It has only produced 1 peach, and not much growth, and this year not a single blossom, so I dont think I'll ever mess with grafted cultivar again. Seeds are the way to go! At least for peaches.
 
Dan Allen
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Just want to update, I've decided to cut the large yellow peach down again. This last winter did it in. We are now in June and had a 4 hour freak freeze on the 3rd and she's just really struggling. I believe it's because I scraped the trunk with a tractor by accident last year. Luckily I had the foresight to train up a replacement sucker which is already taller than me, and very vigorous despite the freezes and hard winter, so I should see peaches again next year. All other seedling trees are doing good and bearing fruit.
 
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In the Dominican Republic, several of the important fruits are normally grown from seed. Mango is one -- I have been told that it can ONLY be grown from seed, and I see two types: the wild type, which are the biggest, shadiest shade trees, and produce many different types of fruit, some bigger, some smaller, some more fibrous, some less, but all very good in my opinion; and the cultivated type, with dwarfism of the tree combined with gigantism of the fruits, and starting to produce right around the time the season ends for the wild type.

Papayas are another one which I think are only ever grown from seeds. These, too, come in different varieties, including the smaller elongated ones like you see imported into colder countries, and big, watermelon-looking ones. Also guavas, which could be considered a weed, but are permitted to grow in handy places because their fruits are tasty, too. Genipap ("jagua," in Spanish) is popular here, too, and mine is a transplanted seedling from the bush. That one can be problematic because, like the papaya, it has separate male and female trees, and I still need to find out what sex mine is. I got lucky with the papayas -- they came out five females and one male.

Edited: forgot to mention cashew (in the D.R., it is more usually a fruit than a nut), also usually grown from seeds.
 
Dan Allen
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First picture is the tree to be cut. Looking rough. Second pic is the replacement sucker.
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I'm so happy to read this thread! Today I found that another peach seed seems to have germinated. I packed dozens of peach, cherry and apricot seeds in a pot of soil last autumn, and got surprisingly few germinations, maybe because I let them dry out for several weeks before putting them in the soil. Anyway, two weeks ago I planted them all out into a garden bed, and I'm very excited if more of them grow. This spring I did plant out 12 seedling apricots, 1 seedling apple and one grafted purchased apple, one seedling mulberry, and one seedling peach that had grown in a pot for a year. This thread makes me happy!!!
 
Dan Allen
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Rebecca, that is how I stratify peaches as well. Actually dig them out of the compost. But I crack the pits open before I plant them and I get almost 100 percent germination, at least with peaches. I also find lots of seedlings in old pig pens, apples, pears, bramble fruits, etc, which I dig up and transplant.
 
Dan Allen
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Here is another seedling tree, it is around 16' tall. This one is in a sheltered spot next to the woods. It has flowered good this year and is making peaches in spite of the cold spring and hard winter. You can see at the bottom of the pic where a large limb broke off, two years ago it was so overloaded with peaches that it broke off. This is another one that I cut down a while back and trained back up from a sucker.
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Dan Allen
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Some more seedling fruit trees
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Plum seedling
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Pear seedling with tri-lobed leaf
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Mulberry
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Trifoliate orange seedling
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Meyer lemon polyembryonic seedling
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Live oak seedling
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Loquat seedling
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Plum seedling
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Red apple seedling
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Peach seedling
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Sweet cherry seedling
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Banana tree pseudostem survived the winter of all things
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Pear seedling
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Nanking bush cherry seedling
 
Dan Allen
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Thanks to whoever removed the double-posted pictures. Not sure what I did there.

I cut down the peach tree and measured the stump. It was 4" in diameter and had 4 rings. So pretty much an inch a year. Pruned up the sucker too.
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Incredible. I forage peaches from a tree growing near a railway station. Perhaps someone threw their pit over the fence coming on or off the train. If that is the case, this is a tree that not only grew from seed and produced fruit, it did so with zero irrigation.
 
Hugo Morvan
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13 feet this year, seed volunteer, third or fourth year, no fruit, frostdamage.. last years was good
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Steve Thorn
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I was at our local grocery store yesterday, and as I was pulling out of the parking lot, I noticed a peach tree growing at the side of the road, and looking closer I could see a peach that looked almost ripe!

It was growing near a spot where people sit down and eat, so I'm guessing someone tossed a peach or a peach pit there a few years ago, and now there is a huge healthy peach tree growing there!

The tree is so healthy! Its leaves are super dark green and are huge compared to any other peach tree I've seen in this area. The new growth from this year is pushing close to 3 feet already, just over half way through the growing season here. It is growing on a small ledge, near the top of a super steep ravine that drops down about 20 ft. to a small stream below. It gets sun to the east and south but is shaded by other trees on its other sides.

I picked the only peach I could reach, and it had almost no insect or disease damage, just small cosmetic issues. The peach was a soft yellow greenish color, medium to smaller in size, with a faint red blush on the sunny side.

I'm hoping the peach will ripen in a few days so I can taste it! Hopefully it wasn't picked too early, but I plan to go back in a few more days with something that i can harvest a few more.

Even if it doesn't taste great, I'm going to plant the seed and breed it with some of the current peaches I'm growing, because its health and vigor is amazing!

Its neat to think that this tree may have been the result of a gorilla gardener, or it simply could have been someone tossing a peach pit away. However it got there, it's encouraged me to plant more fruit tree seeds!
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Peach tree from seed
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More hidden peaches
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Handsome peach from seed
 
Dan Allen
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Wow, steve, that is an awesome find. Can't wait to see more pics of the fruit and find out what the taste is like.
 
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This thread is awesome.  Could you share what state or province you are in, Dan Allen?  I'm wondering if its worth it for me to try peaches here in Zone 6 AK.  We have mild winters for the latitude and maybe 4-5 months frost free, but a very cool growing season. Seedling sweet cherries are pretty vigorous here, as are nanking cherries.
 
Dan Allen
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I'm in zone 5, But last winter closer to zone 4. All I could say would be to give it a try. they tend to get some tip burn around - 15 to -20, and under -25 can destroy next year's blossoms, but the tree will survive. We hit -26 last winter and there's still a few fruits growing. Late frosts are no big deal, I've had sprinklers freeze trying to protect them during a spring frost, and icicles hanging from the trees and they fruited decently, so now I don't bother protecting from late freeze. Usually they blossom mid April but this year they were a month late.
 
Steve Thorn
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I went back yesterday and picked 11 peaches from the wild peach tree!

The blush on the peaches varies from a deep burgandy to a really nice reddish pink color.

I picked a few about a week ago, and they weren't ripe yet. I tasted one anyways, and even though it wasn't ripe, and I couldn't tell for sure, it seemed to have a really good flavor!

If it's really good, I'm going to try to do a summer bud graft from this tree onto a few of my existing peach trees to try to preserve this variety. Sadly it is encroaching towards the road, so I could see it being sprayed and killed anyday.

Crossing my fingers that it tastes good once these ripen up!
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Wild peach tree peaches!
 
Dan Allen
pollinator
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Wow, Steve, those peaches look great! What an amazing find. I bet they'll taste great fully ripened.
 
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