Brown rot is a fungal infection that can affect fruit trees and is particularly destructive to peaches. It causes the fruit to rot on the tree prior to ripening, rendering the entire peach crop inedible. If you're thinking of planting peach trees on your property, the easiest way to avoid this disease is to plant a variety of peaches that is resistant to brown rot. Here's a look at some of your best options.
Elberta peaches are a rather common variety. Their flesh separates from the stone easily and is firm enough to can. Since the trees come in standard, dwarf, and semi-dwarf cultivars, they're a good choice for backyards because you can pick the size most suitable to your landscape. Elberta peach trees prefer to be planted in full sunlight and well-drained soil, and they will need to be fertilized once a year once they begin producing peaches.
It is very important to have Elberta peach trees pruned by a tree care expert, since one must distinguish between the old and new branches when pruning. Elberta peach trees produce fruit on the last year's new branches, so removing too many of these will result in a small crop.
Glo Haven peaches are quite large, which makes them ideal for canning and baking. They grow to about 30 feet in height and prefer partial to full sunlight. Glo Haven peaches are tolerant of hot and humid climates, and they will grow in a wide array of soil types, from sand to clay. They require springtime pruning to encourage new growth, and a fertilizer high in phosphorus is recommended during the first growing season, as well as when soil tests indicate that the soil has been depleted of nutrients.
Babygold peaches are cling-stone peaches, which makes them a bit more difficult to eat and process than free-stone peach varieties. However, they have an outstanding flavor that redeems them. The trees are very upright, making them a good choice for smaller yards. Babygold peach trees require full sunlight and well-drained, loamy soil. They are known to be one of the more productive varieties of peach tree, so you can count on a heavy crop from just a tree or two.
Keep in mind that although these peach trees are resistant to brown rot, they may be susceptible to other less-serious fungal diseases like powdery mildew disease. Thus, it's best to have your trees sprayed throughout the growing season to prevent infections. For more tips on caring for your peach trees, contact a tree service like Yarnell Tree Co Inc.