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Peach tree recommendations?


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We had an old peach tree outside our front door, grown from a stone, and we got excellent peaches from it. It also seemed to be pretty disease-resistent. Unfortunately last week's thunderstorm snapped the trunk in half, and we think it is probably now dead (but we'll wait for spring to see if it there are any shoots from the remains of the trunk).

We'd like to replant a similar peach tree nearby. We are in the southern Auvergne at about 500 meters altitude: peaches grow well in this area, but I suspect most are like our own, chance-grown from stones. Winters are cold but not arctic, summers usually warm and sunny (or is that just rose-tinted spectacles?)

We're happy to try the local nurseries but is there a named French variety anyone can recommend? We prefer freestone peaches (where the flesh comes easily away from the stone) but apart from that we're not too fussy. We don't need a dwarf or semi-dwarf variety, as a bit of shade under the tree would be nice, and I'm happy to risk a ladder when picking the fruit.

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Hi from the sunny centre of France.

We grow Redhaven; I bought a bare root bush a couple of years ago from our local garden centre and initially planted it in a very large pot where it did well againgst a sunny wall, giving us 20+ large fruits each year. With a place in the garden finally available we planted it last winter and had a dozen very early fruits - we were eating them in June and boy, were they good!

Redhaven is not fond of alckline soils apparently (grafting on St. Julian rootstock would help) but does well for us in our acid sand / alkaline clay mix. The only shame is that the flower is very un-interesting. I may buy another this autumn and find one with large pink flowers - there's nothing wrong with pretty and productive.

For a great list of peach varieties try here: http://www.pommiers.com/peche/pecher.htm

As for your bush: cut it back to the damaged area, seal it up with pruning compound and say nice things to it each day. I expect it will grow back.

Have fun in the garden

Colin the Gardener

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Thanks very much each of you for the advice. Redhaven does look like a good possibility, as it would be nice to have the fruit available for the summer visitors - we can live without pretty blossom as there are plenty of other fruit trees around.

Not many trees in our own garden, which is much too small, but the local farmers all plant fruit trees along their field boundaries - apples, pears, peaches, figs and chestnuts (not much to a chestnut flower except scent, though, and I think technically the fig is actually the flower?).

Can anyone help by telling us when we should buy the peach and plant it?

Thanks again

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