Red Baron Peach
Red Baron Peach tree overview:
The Red Baron Peach tree produces super tasty peaches and amazing flowers. It is one of a few peach trees that grows well in Southern California.
The fruit is about the same size as a typical grocery store peach. Yellow with large splashes of red.
- This is a really tasty peach. This firm and juicy fruit has a sweet rich flavor with mildly tart overtones.
- The Red Baron Peach always rates super high on taste tests. However, you may not see it at the store because it does not keep well.
- It is a freestone peach (flesh easily separates from the seed).
This is a late season peach (August). They are ready to harvest when they are fully colored and pull off easily from the branch with a gentle twist.
- The red-frilled flowers are big and bold (this is where the peach gets its name). The tree looks awesome in the spring/April when full of flowers.
- Like all peaches, it is deciduous so it will drop its leaves in the winter.
- Adequate pruning/training is needed to keep this fast growing tree in check and create a strong structure to prevent the branches from breaking under the weight of the fruit.
- On that note, almost all peaches will produce too much fruit. If the fruit is not thinned out you will get a lot of small less desirable fruit. Therefore, in the spring when the fruit is still small, remove the smallest fruit so that each of the remaining fruit on the branches are about 10 inch apart.
- For more information about thinning peach fruit, check out my short article titled “It’s time to thin developing peach fruit” http://tastylandscape.com/2013/04/23/25/
- Mature tree height and spacing is about 12 to 15 feet but can be easily pruned to a smaller size.
Like all peach trees, it does best in rich well draining soil. Sandy deep loam is great. Clay soil is not so good.
Regular watering typical for stone fruits. Watering 3x a week has been working for me. Don’t let it dry out. Heavy mulching and rich organic soil will help to keep it from drying out (and save on your water bill).
Needs full sun.
The peach in the pictures was initially planted in partial shade when I moved to this property. When I discovered it, it was looking rather sickly with gummy sap oozing from the branches. I transplanted it to a full sun location with rich soil and it has recovered amazingly without any other treatment.
Balanced fertilizer in the spring (around the time of bud break). About ½ a pound of fertilizer per year-age of the tree (up to five pounds per tree) spread evenly over the root zone.
Like all deciduous trees it needs a chilling time so it will drop its leaves. Without an adequate chilling time, the tree will produce a small crop and will eventually die. However, the Florida Prince Peach tree has a very low chilling requirement of about 250-300 hours so it’s a non-issue in Southern California.
(Chilling time = total hours per winter below 45 degrees).
Another great low chill choice for Southern California is the Florida Prince Peach. Here is a link to an article I recently wrote about that peach. http://tastylandscape.com/2013/04/26/growing-the-florida-prince-peach/
- The major pest is peach leaf curl. This is a fungus that makes the leaves look warty and disfigured. This results in a less-healthy and less-productive tree. To combat peach leaf curl, apply antifungal spray at bud break and at leaf drop. I use copper antifungal spray, but there are other alternatives. Peach leaf curl is a bigger problem in damp areas or in areas with a very rainy/wet spring. Reapplying sprays may be necessary in areas with frequent rainfall during bud break. Some people will add horticultural oil to the antifungal spray to help it to stay on the leaves in particularly rainy areas. The oil in the spray mix will also help also combat other pests such as scale. Got to this websites drop down menu to read more about pests.
- Some gardeners have trained their trees in a thin fan-shape along a south facing wall/under an eve to promote dry leaves and reduce the incidence of peach leaf curl infection.
- For some additional information about dealing with peach leaf curl, check out my post “Peach Leaf Curl: A complete treatment plan” http://tastylandscape.com/2013/04/24/how-to-treat-peach-leaf-curl/
- Like many living in California, I am surrounded by gophers. Therefore, I cage tree roots of all my fruit trees at the time of planting.
- Some people have reported that fighting the birds and squirrels is a major issue. However, I haven’t run into that problem (yet) with my peach trees.
- For other fruiting plants, I use Holographic Bird Scare Tape that works rather well at keeping the birds away. I am sure I will be using the tape if and when the birds notice the peaches. If you are going to use glitter tape, it is best to only use it during the fruit season so that the birds don’t get use to it. A very similar product is Flash Tape but I haven’t tried that.
You name it, it’s an awesome peach.
Peach and nectarine trees are native to China.