[NAFEX] Bailey's nursery Peach Rootstock
griffingardens at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 12 12:24:51 EDT 2005
I bought 3 of these peaches from Baileys Nursery in 2001 and it was these
I was reporting on in my response to your stonefruit rootstock inquiry
earlier this spring. They do one cultivar, 'Bailey', on P.a. It is the old
hardy peach from Iowa and not anything that they have developed or that
came from the nursery, as is the case with 'McKay' peach from McKay nursery
in WI. Bailey peach has been seed propagated in IA since the late 1800's
and the old records of the IA Hort Society contain heated arguments between
members over the virtues of seedling vs. grafted trees with a lot of
support for the seedlings. The result is that there is a wide variety of
Baileys out there, but the primary one or ones are in widespread use as a
rootstock tree, and these have virtually inedible small fruit. The Bailey
race that Bailey Nursery has selected for propagation on P.a. is an
excellent old fashioned peach: soft, sweet, fuzzy, very juicy, with good
peach flavor. It is variable in size up to 3" and has a slight red blush on
the sun side. It bruises very easily and could not be shipped across the
street, but who would want to ship it anywhere.
Because 'Bailey' is compatible doesn't mean other cultivars would be, but
my experience with Hardired nectarine, Redhaven and some other seedling
trees has been good. And, as I mentioned before, some cultivars that have
been difficult to bud on conventional peach stocks have taken easily and
been completely compatible so far on P.a.
That having been said, I don't know that a tree is any hardier for being
grown on P.a., except that the rootstock itself it hardy and won't freeze
out. Here is my record for the original 3 trees, the first died after the
snowless -17 F winter of '01-'02. Both the remaining trees survived '03-'04
at -29 F but one suffered severe trunk damage and died this winter having
been depleted by canker. The remaining tree grows in a location with winter
shade and is a healthy survivor after last year's -23F, although all the
flower buds were killed. So the paltry evidence from my little sample is
that growing in a winter shade location is a greater hardiness benefit than
P.a. rootstock. Supporting that is the fact that subsequent grafts of this
same Bailey on Siberian C and other hardy plum rootstocks have performed
similarly to those on P.a.
I see the usual deficiencies of P.a. as a rootstock in that there is
excessive suckering and scion overgrowth. It makes no apparent contribution
to the tree's ability to withstand trunk injury - my primary cause of death
and winter damage. So I am continuing to test what I believe to be the best
combination for peaches in cold climates - to bud them high (18" to24") on
hardy Siberian C rootstocks that can withstand the cold without trunk
injury. This addresses my consistent observation that the twigs and
branches have proven to be hardy in the same years that the trunks, the
last thing to harden off, have been killed. It is the trunks that are the
weakest link and the rootstocks, as they are the most protected being
underground, the strongest.
zone 4a, central MN
> [Original Message]
> From: Heron Breen <breen at fedcoseeds.com>
> To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: 6/9/05 11:31:33 AM
> Subject: [NAFEX] Bailey's nursery Peach Rootstock
> An interesting addendum to our Stonefruit Discussion:
> Baileys Nursery, the largest cold hardy wholesale nursery operation in
> lists two different rootstock for it Peach vartiety offerings.
> Standard is budded on Prunus americana!
> Semi-dwarf budded on Myrobalan.
> I have not called to check if Prunus americana is a misprint, but if not
> a evry large nursery is taking the risk concerning rejection and they may
> something others do not. I am very surprised at this choice!
> Heron Breen
> zone 4, Maine
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