The scientific name of the peach tree is Prunus persica, and it belongs to the family, Rosaceae. The tree is native to China. It is basically a deciduous tree of medium height, and it produces edible fruits, which are also known by the same name, i.e., peach. The fruits of this tree have white or yellow-colored flesh, surrounded by a velvety or smooth skin. The flesh may or may not stick to the stone and accordingly, cultivated peaches can be clingstones or freestones.
On an average, the peach tree can reach a height of 4 to 10 m. However, a large of peach cultivars are available in the market, and some of them are dwarf varieties. Out of the various dwarf peach trees, the most popular ones are, the Redhaven and Elberta dwarf peach tree.
The peach tree not only bears edible fruits, but also produces beautiful and fragrant pink blossoms in spring, for which it is also grown for landscaping purposes. If you are considering to grow peaches, you can choose from a number of varieties. However, it should be kept in mind that peach trees grow in a limited range, as they are not very cold hardy. Usually, they can withstand temperatures in the range of 26 to 30°C.
Types of Peach Trees
The most popular peach tree varieties are, Elberta peach tree, Redhaven peach, Cresthaven peach, O'Henry peach, Garden Gold peach, and Honey babe peach.
Elberta Peach Tree
The Elberta peach is considered by many as one of the best varieties of peach trees. It can be found as a common fruit tree in many gardens and yards. The tree is basically popular for its sweet, juicy, freestone fruits, as well as for its fragrant blossoms. The fruits are large and they can be eaten raw. They are also excellent for canning and freezing. The skin of the fruit is golden-yellow in color with a red blush. The USDA hardiness zone for this tree is 5 to 9. The tree is quite resilient, and is resistant to many common plant diseases. It does not need a pollinator, i.e., it is a self-pollinating plant. However, the tree is not drought-resistant, and so, care must be taken to protect it from dryness.
Cresthaven Peach Tree
It usually reaches a height of 8 to 14 feet at maturity, and bears firm and highly-colored freestone fruits with golden or yellow-colored flesh. The fruits are ideal for canning and freezing. The USDA hardiness zone for this plant is 5 to 9. The tree grows well in full sun and well-drained, sandy loam soil. It blooms in late April and the harvest time is late August. The tree is quite tolerant to cold and frost, and requires hot weather, especially during the growing season. The tree usually produces fruits within 3 to 5 years.
Redhaven Peach Tree
The 'Redhaven' is a highly adaptable variety, which is cold-hardy and can resist many plant diseases. The fruits are large and luscious with creamy, yellow-colored flesh. They are ideal for canning and freezing, but can also be eaten raw. The tree usually produces fruits at 3 to 4 years of age. The tree requires well-drained soil to grow properly. The ideal soil pH for growing this tree is 5.5 to 7. It needs hot weather during the growing season. This tree cannot tolerate extreme winter and frost. However, it can tolerate heat and humidity. It usually reaches a height of 15 to 30 feet.
It is a strong tree, and its fruits are known for their wonderful flavor. The fruits of this tree are large, firm, and freestone with white or yellow flesh. They are very sweet and juicy. The tree usually produces fruits at 3 to 4 years of age. It needs well-drained and sandy soil, regular fertilization, and pruning, along with hot weather during the growing season. The tree generally attains a height of 15 to 30 feet. The USDA hardiness zone for this tree is 6 to 9.
Garden Gold Peach
The 'Garden Gold' is a vigorous peach tree, that bears soft, freestone fruits. On an average, the fruits are about the size of a fist, and are golden-yellow in color with a slight red blush. The fruits ripen in August. The USDA hardiness zone for this plant is 6 to 9. The tree usually grows up to a height of 5 to 6 feet, and it prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Regular pruning is required to thin out the inner branches, so that the inner part can get enough sunlight. It is a dwarf variety of peach that can be grown in a container as well.
Honey Babe Peach
It is a dwarf variety that grows very slowly, but bears fruits quite early. The fruits are sweet, firm, and freestone with an excellent flavor. The flesh is usually orange-colored, while the skin is yellow with a deep red blush. The fruits ripe in mid July. For ensuring better growth of this tree, light pruning is required. The ideal time for pruning this tree is winter and summer. The USDA hardiness zone for this tree is 6 to 8.
Some other popular varieties of peach tree are, Donut peach, Harken peach, Loring peach, and Polly White peach. Peach trees usually grow well in well-drained soil, and they prefer full sun. The ideal soil pH for growing peaches is approximately 6.5. They usually does not need pollinators. Pruning is a very important part of plant care.
So, consider to thin out the inner branches each year, so as to ensure that the inner portion of the tree receives adequate sunlight. The fruit-bearing trees would also require regular watering, if there is not adequate rainfall. Usually, a fruit-bearing peach tree requires 1 inch of water per week. If you observe that the tree is bearing more fruits than what it can actually hold, then thin the crop to improve the quality of the fruits.