[NAFEX] White Champion Peach / Hal Berta Giant

kathryn stout kathrynwrites at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 15 23:53:19 EDT 2003

I have Burbank July Elberta in Massachusetts. Also
Harcot. (Had a Harcot tree, 7 years old and bearing,
killed by burrowing woodchucks last year but planting
another one, this spring.)
I always think some year's winter is going to kill my
BJE peach. I planted it 'cause I had the same variety
in southern California. But why play it safe if it
means lesser flavor and quality. You can't buy peaches
this good around here because nobody is "fool" enough
to grow BJE commercially. The Stark's catalog said it
was hardy zones 5-9. I found out from Bill Mackentley
that meant it has a 50% chance of longterm survival in
Zone 5. Sooner or later there's a test winter--record
cold--that will kill it. But other people say peaches
all die in 15 or 20 years anyway. The point is, for
Massachusetts BJE is more of a gamble than Reliance or
even Redhaven or Madison..but?? It's such a good
peach. I think it's worth it. (though I'd try
Madison--said to be very hardy AND have excellent
I'm amazed that somebody is growing Burbank July
Elberta in coastal Maine. Yet I see you're in Zone 5
too. Must be the coastal, gulf stream influence.
So far--after the incredibly cold winter of 2002-3--my
11 year old BJE peach seems to be alive. I saw signs
of fuzzy, swelling buds today (April 15). I guess it's
true what they say, if the tree hardens off well,
STAYS cold, and warms gradually it can take very cold.
Much colder than (Zone 9) California.
Good luck to you. I hope your trees thrive.
Zone 5, Massachusetts 

--- Sgroppino Farms <sgroppino at sgroppino.com> wrote:
> Karl:
> I just looked for the 'Hal Berta Giant' peach in the
> Stark Bros catalog and they don't carry such a peach
> .  Are you sure you didn't mean their Burbank July
> Elberta?
> Thanks for the advice regarding the split pit
> problem with White Champion.  I ultimately decided
> to go with six different peaches and I'm hoping
> they'll all thrive well here in coastal Maine: 
> Burbank July Elberta, Carolina Belle, Double Jewel,
> Fingerlakes Super Hardy, John-Boy and Stark Summer
> Pearl.  I'm also going to see how well the Harcot
> and Harglow apricots adapt to the climate up here. 
> NAFEX has been a great resource for learning about
> new varities to explore.  
> Cheers,
> John
> * * * * *
> John A Gasbarre
> Sgroppino Farms
> Vinalhaven Island, Maine
> sgroppino at sgroppino.com
> USDA Zone 5
> > In zone 5 Southwest Connecticut the White Champion
> peach has a severe split 
> > pit problem which the ear wigs love to
> inhabit...open thru the stem end.
> > Georgia Belle is better.....flavor is as good and
> the peaches are mostly 
> > whole.
> > Best peach I ever ate was the Hal Berta
> Giant....once again available from 
> > Stark Bros.  And I 've just ordered two of them
> for home orchard.  Of course 
> > it is not a white peach which is unique of itself.
> > Karl Olson
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