[NAFEX] [permaculture] heritage peach tree preservation

MARIE ASHTON bwoodtx at verizon.net
Mon Jul 10 21:11:29 EDT 2006

It sounds to me like the rootstock is what needs preserving not the tops. You commented that the trees were over 100 years old and that is very old for a peach tree, and it may be due to the rootstock. The rootstock variety may not even have good fruit but if it will cause peach trees to live longer then it would be good for just that -a peach rootstock. There is no question that we need a longer living peach tree rootstock.
So if you are going to preserve the rootstock then there is but two ways that I know of to do that if you do not own the land but have permission to try to retrieve some rootstock material. As others have said dig up some roots and replant them. Also, if a tree has put out shots around the base of the tree coming from below ground then you may be able to sever some shoots with a little root attached.
Once you have the material established on your own property and it has grown into a small tree, then you will be able to take budwood or force shoots for distribution.
Let us know how you come along with your project. 
Richard Ashton
Oak Creek Orchard
bwoodtx at verizon.net

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: oliver smith callis 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers 
  Cc: dwoodard at becon.org 
  Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 6:59 PM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] [permaculture] heritage peach tree preservation

  thanks for your input. According to the person I talked to, who manages an orchard adjacent to the property where these peach trees are, and who is the grandson of the man who planted them, the variety was bud grafted onto this French cultivar. It sounded like it was brought over as a sapling, probably wrapped in burlap. The trees were well taken care of up until the last decade or so, and he is certain that they were planted between 1875 and 1895. 

  >Thanks for the replies & suggestions. I should have clarified I do not own or control the property (which is at risk of being developed) and >am limited to propagation strategies to preserve this rootstock & variety. For the rootstock- I though I might dig up one of the roots and >expose part of it above ground, protect it with a milk carton with the bottom cut off (staked to the ground), add some fertilizer and see if I >can't get it to sprout. Then sever the root from the tree and replant it. Does this seem feasible? Also, what if I took root cuttings, dipped >them in rooting hormone and left them in a rooting medium-vermiculite type mixture... 
  >Much appreciated, 



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