Peaches are not considered as dependable as apples, plums or cherries for the high plains because they flower early. Flowers often are nipped by frost, preventing the formation of fruit. Avoid planting peaches in low areas where late spring frosts are more likely to damage blooms. Plant peach trees in the full sun and in soil that drains well.
Despite the difficulties in growing peaches, certain varieties are worthwhile. Most peaches grown in Colorado don't need cross-pollination. Recommended peach varieties for Colorado are Elberta, Haven, Polly, Reliance, Hale Haven and Ranger. Peaches needing cross-pollination are J.H. Hale, Earlihale, Hal-Berta, Candoka and Mikado. Most other varieties of peaches will pollinate these varieties.
Peaches are bothered by two insect pests; the peach twig borer, which damages twigs and fruit, and the peach tree borer, which burrows into the lower trunk of the tree. Permethrin insecticide applied mid-June will prevent the peach twig borer. Permethrin can also be used to treat the peach tree borer by spraying the lower trunk every two weeks starting about July 1. Don't spray peach trees at least 20 days before harvest to prevent residue problems in the fruit.
Wrap young peach tree trunks with commercially available tree wrap during the winter to prevent sun scald or southwest damage. The wrap should be applied about mid- November, from the soil line up to the lowest branch, and removed about mid-April.
For "Tree borers" refer to message number 1417.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
- Coryneum Blight
- Cytospora Canker
- Pollination of Tree Fruits
- Backyard Orchard: Stone Fruits
- Aphids on Shade Trees and Ornamentals
- Shade Tree Borers
- Peach Tree Borer
- insect Control: Horticultural Oils
- Training and Pruning Fruit Trees
- The Science of Planting Trees
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Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013