[NAFEX] Zone 3 Peach Update
bonfire58_2000 at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 25 08:21:14 EDT 2004
Last winter, the temperature dipped to -35° F and I've got four healthy Pequot Peach trees left, one of which has a partially killed riser. Two others that had slight winter damage last year died above-ground and started shooting up from the roots. They were in my way anyway so I dug the (2½" to 3") stumps out. My seventh peach tree is in limbo, half dead and half not; I have yet to decide what to do with it. The scionwood that any of you received came from the most winter-hardy. I planted 216 peach seed last Fall, out of which 52 germinated. Eighteen of these were greeted by Cutworms before I discovered them - I put plastic barrier rings around those I get to before the Cutworms find them. I also put barrier rings around the cut-off ones - some of these are growing a second shoot.
Fifty-two out of 216, that's 24%. I got less than a 10% germination from the seed I planted which produced today's bearing trees. Some NAFEXers have warned me to not freeze my peach seed while I figure that a frozen survivor is more apt to produce a hardier tree. The next step is to plant the seed from the newest survivors, and so on. With a few more generations, I hypothesize having a truely hardy strain. A younger person should be doing this research because, at age 63, how many more generations of peach trees can I live through?
One more thing: Last year the thermometer dipped to only -25° F and my four hardiest trees produced bountifully. The temperature dipped to -35° F this last Winter and only two trees each produced only one blossom.
Pequot Lakes, MN
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