Prunus persica 'Reliance'
Common Name: peach
Type: Fruit
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy, Edible

Culture

Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Self pollinating. Benefits from regular watering, fertilization and pruning. Plant in full sun in a site where periodic chemical spraying will not pose any problems to adjacent areas. Avoid planting peach trees in the same soil where other stone fruits have recently grown.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prunus persica, commonly called peach, is native to China. It is grown for its luscious fruit but some cultivars are grown chiefly for there flowers and produce inedible fruit. Species trees grow up to 25' tall and wide but peach trees sold in commerce today are grafted to rootstocks which control the size of the tree. Dwarf trees bear standard size fruit, but have the advantage of fitting into smaller sites and being more manageable (easier pruning, spraying and harvesting).

Genus name from Latin means plum or cherry tree.

Specific epithet means Persia. Prunus persica reached Europe from China through Persia.

'Reliance' produces soft pink blossoms in early spring that is followed by medium to large freestone peaches with bright yellow flesh and yellow skin blushed with red. Fruit ripens in early to mid August (USDA Zone 5). The tree growing at the Kemper Center was grafted to a dwarf rootstock which results in a very small tree typically growing to only 8-10' tall. 'Reliance' is also available in commerce as a standard-sized tree (grafted to a standard rootstock) which typically grows 12-15' tall.

Problems

Peaches are susceptible to a large number of serious pest problems. A regular regimen of chemical spraying is needed in order to insure harvesting a good crop. Potential disease problems include peach leaf curl, brown rot, bacterial leaf spot and canker. Potential insect problems include peach tree borer, plum curculio, oriental fruit moth, root nematodes, mites and aphids. Very cold winter temperatures and late spring frosts often cause significant damage to the buds/flowers of peaches.

'Reliance' is noted for its cold hardiness, however, and reportedly has produced crops after enduring winter temperatures as low as -25F.

Garden Uses

This dwarf tree is grown almost exclusively for its fruit crop. It fits into small places and is ideal for a sunny spot in the back yard. Attractive early spring bloom is a nice bonus.