Types of peach trees

Peach Tree Dwarf Cultivars: Learn About Growing Small Peach Trees

Dwarf peach tree varieties make life easier for gardeners who want a bounteous harvest of sweet juicy peaches without the challenge of caring for full-size trees. At heights of only 6 to 10 feet (2-3 m.), small peach trees are easy to maintain, and they’re ladder-free. As an added bonus, peach tree dwarf cultivars produce fruit in a year or two, compared to about three years for full-size peach trees. The most difficult task is selecting from so wonderful kinds of dwarf peach trees. Read on for a few tips on selecting peach tree dwarf cultivars.

Dwarf Peach Tree Varieties

Small peach trees aren’t difficult to grow, but they are only moderately tolerant of cold temperatures. Peach tree dwarf cultivars are suitable for USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, although some are tough enough to withstand chilly winters in zone 4.

El Dorado is a medium-size, early summer peach with rich, yellow flesh and red-blushed yellow skin.

O’Henry are small peach trees with large, firm fruit ready for mid-season harvest. Peaches are yellow with red streaks.

Donut, also known as Stark Saturn, is an early producer of medium-sized, donut-shaped fruit. The freestone peaches are white with a red blush.

Reliance is a good choice for gardeners as far north as USDA zone 4. This self-pollinating tree ripens in July.

Golden Gem, favored for its excellent flavor, produces an early harvest of large, yellow fruit.

Intrepid is a cold-hardy, disease-resistant peach tree that blooms in late spring. The sweet, yellow-fleshed fruit is ideal for baking, canning, freezing or eating fresh.

Redwing produces an early harvest of medium-sized peaches with juicy white flesh. Skin is yellowish covered with red.

Southern Sweet produces medium-sized freestone peaches with red and yellow skin.

Orange Cling, also known as Miller Cling, is a large, clingstone peach with golden yellow flesh and red-blushed skin. Trees are ready for harvest mid- to late season.

Bonanza II produces large, sweet-smelling peaches with attractive red and yellow skin. Harvest is in midseason.

Redhaven is a self-pollinating tree that produces all-purpose peaches with smooth skin and creamy yellow flesh. Look for peaches to ripen in mid-July in most climates.

Halloween produces large, yellow peaches with a red blush. As the name suggests, this late peach is ready for harvest in late autumn.

Southern Rose ripens early, producing medium-size yellow peaches with a red blush.

Adapted from The Edible Balcony by Alex Mitchell

Apple Trees

Tetra Images/getty

It’s the quintessential orchard fruit that can grow as a bush on dwarfing rootstock or as an espalier, U-shaped cordon, or double U. Delectable dessert varieties include Gala, Fuji, and Honeycrisp, all of which will pollinate each other, or try Jonagold, Pink Lady, Ashmeads Kernal, or Cox. Good cooking varieties include Gordon, Liberty, and Sierra Beauty.

Pear Trees

Silvia Maurer / EyeEm/getty

A ripe pear is a wonderful thing, but since pears flower early, late frosts can damage their crops. To be on the safe side, cover the branches with fleece if they’re in blossom when a frost is forecast. Pears can be grown as a bush on dwarfing rootstock or as a cordon, espalier, U-shaped cordon, or double U. Good dessert varieties include Bartlett, Moonglow, and Doyenne du Comice.

Cherry Trees

Claire Higgins/getty

Modern cherries are self-fertile, so you only need one tree to ensure a good crop — f you can keep the birds off, that is. Netting may be a necessary defense as the fruit ripens. Expect beautiful blossom and lots of fruit when the tree is established. Grow cherries as a bush on dwarfing rootstock or as a fan against a warm wall.

Good varieties include Lapins and Stella. If you have a shady, north-facing wall, a morello or acid cherry will thrive as a fan, producing tart cherries that are excellent when cooked.

Plum Trees

Claire Higgins/getty

These accommodating trees deliver heavy crops with very little asked from you in return. Pruning is minimal (and certainly should never be attempted except in summer, to avoid fungal infection), and most are self-fertile.

The only thing they demand is thinning of developing fruits; otherwise, plum trees tend to produce far too many plums one year, followed by nothing the next. Thin plums in midsummer so they’re about 2 inches apart. Either grow plums as a bush on dwarfing rootstock or as a fan. Try greengages for their unique buttery texture and sweetness.

Peach and Apricot Trees

Cosmo Condina/getty

Once you’ve tasted your first ripe peach or apricot straight from your own tree, there’s no going back. Such experiences have to be repeated, and you’ll go to no end of trouble to do so. As with all container fruit trees, make sure you buy a tree with the suitable dwarfing rootstock. A good dwarf peach is Bonanza; try Pixzee or Pixie-cot for a dwarf apricot. All of these can be grown as freestanding trees in pots and need little pruning; alternatively, they can be grown as fans.

Both peaches and apricots are hardy when dormant over winter, but since they blossom early in the spring, the flowers are susceptible to frost damage. Bring the tree inside when in blossom if frost is forecast, or cover it with horticultural fleece if it’s trained against a wall.

Although self-fertile, both trees can benefit from a bit of help with pollination to ensure you get a good crop: When the flowers are open, dab the pollen gently with a soft brush and rub it onto the surrounding flower. Peach leaf curl is a nasty fungal disease, so if you can find a dwarf variety that claims resistance to this disease, buy it.

Fig Trees

Jose Carlos Barbosa / EyeEm/getty

A sprawling, fan-trained fig tree in a pot is a majestic sight, and the hand-shaped leaves release a “figgy” scent if you brush past them, particularly on hot days. And then there are the incredibly succulent fruits, swelling through the summer until they all but burst open to reveal their sweet, dark flesh.

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Figs are an ideal choice for growing in pots because they prefer to have their roots confined, and they’re easy to train into fan shapes by tying branches against a warm wall.

To ensure a crop where your climate is cool, protect the baby fruits over winter by tying sleeves of plastic bubble wrap loosely around them, making sure to leave them open-ended so that air can still circulate. Any fruits that are larger than pea size by fall should be removed, and pinch out the growing shoots of the tree in early summer so that only five leaves remain per shoot.

Brown Turkey is a reliable variety with delicious, purple-fleshed fruits. Other good ones to try are Panachee and Black Mission. Plant in soilless potting mix or soil-based mix in a pot no smaller than 18 inches in diameter. Place in a sunny, sheltered spot, keep well watered, and feed with liquid seaweed every two weeks throughout the growing season.

Calamondin Orange Trees

David Q. Cavagnaro/getty

Calamondin orange is perhaps the best choice for beginner gardeners. These glossy trees constantly produce intensely scented flowers, which develop into small, round fruits that are too sour to eat raw but make delicious, tangy marmalade.

They can also be cut into segments and added to cool drinks. The biggest benefit of Calamondin oranges (X Citrofortunella microcarpa), though, is that this is the only citrus that can be overwintered indoors. It can even be grown all year inside.

Nothing defines these hot lazy days of late summer better than a sweet juicy peach. Did you that the only thing better than a Colorado-grown peach bought at a farmer’s market is a peach grown in your own yard? Peaches make excellent landscape trees, are easy to care for, and you get the freshest peaches imaginable! Fort Collins Nursery has a great selection of hardy and delicious peach tree varieties to choose from and we’ve made a few recommendations for you below. for tips on how to successfully grow your own peach trees.

Semi-Dwarf Elberta Peach

Prunus persica ‘Elberta’

Traits: The Semi-Dwarf Elberta Peach is an old time favorite freestone that produces deep golden fruit with a red blush. The fruits are high scoring in taste tests and their classic peach flavor makes them perfect for eating fresh or canning. In the spring, their deep pink blossoms fill the air with fragrance however the blooms may be subject to late spring frosts (as with all peaches). Elberta peaches prefer well-draining soil out of reach from harsh drying winds. These trees are self-fertile, but will produce better if planted near another peach variety.

  • Height: 15-18 ft.
  • Width: 15-18 ft.
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: Pink/Spring
  • Zones: 5

Redhaven Peach

Prunus persica ‘Red Haven’

Traits: Redhaven peaches are an excellent freestone peach with red-blushed yellow skin and yellow flesh. Their fruit is medium to large with a firm, smooth texture and very little fuzz. Redhaven peaches have spectacular flavor and are ideal for eating fresh, canning, freezing, and shipping. The trees bloom fragrant pink flowers in early spring and the foliage turns a bright gold in the fall. Redhavens are one of the hardier varieties of peaches. They are heavy bearing, cold hardy and resistant to leaf spot however they prefer a spot with some protection from the wind. These trees are self-fertile, but will produce better if planted near another peach variety.

  • Height: 12-15 ft.
  • Width: 12-15 ft.
  • Water: moderate
  • Bloom: Pink/ Spring
  • Zones: 5

Contender Peach

Prunus persica ‘Contender’

The large, round freestone fruits of the Contender Peach have bright yellow flesh with red-blushed skin. This is a wonderful tasting variety that matches the Reliance Peach in cold hardiness and tolerance of spring frosts. The sweet, extra-juicy fruits ripen in mid-to-late August and are an absolute delight for fresh eating, canning, baking, and freezing. These trees are self-fertile, but will produce better if planted near another peach variety.

  • Height: 12-15 ft.
  • Width: 15-18 ft.
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: Pink/ Spring
  • Zones: 4-7

Originally published on August 1, 2018.

Originally published on August 1st, 2018.

Red Haven Peach Tree

Delicious Home-Grown Peaches in 1 Year

Why Red Haven Peach Trees?

The Red Haven produces one of the best-tasting peaches on the market, often referred to as a grocery store favorite. But with our Red Haven Peach Tree, you’ll have your very own fruit at home, freshly-picked, cost-effective and best of all, grown naturally.

Plus, Red Haven Peach Trees are disease resistant and super adaptable, so they survive an array of environments that would kill many other trees. And although we recommend cross-pollinating two Red Havens, or using a separate variety like the Elberta Peach Tree for larger harvests, you’ll get bounties of delectable taste either way since Red Haven is self-fertile.

Why Fast-Growing-Trees.com is Better

For starters, our Red Haven Trees grow very rapidly, so you get an abundance of fruit quickly. And our trees are pruned back and trained to develop a healthy branching structure before they ever arrive to your door. This process takes more work and an extra year, but the difference you experience is dramatic. In fact, some of our Red Havens are already producing fruit before they leave our nursery.

Full flavor for snacks, meals, desserts and more – the Red Haven has it all. And with proper care, you’ll start picking your peaches after the first season, or within the first year under optimal conditions. We’ve given you a head start so that your Red Haven thrives – get started today!

Planting & Care

Red Haven Peach Trees are ready for harvest in mid to late fall, depending on your area. The Red Haven is a self-pollinating tree, so you will get fruit with just the one. However, you will have a much higher fruit yield with two of them planted within 30 feet of each other.

1. Planting: Plant your Red Haven Peach Tree in well-drained soil and in a location where it will receive full sun (at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day). Protect your tree from winds by planting on the sunniest side of a building or your home. When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole twice as wide as the plant’s root ball and just as deep. Amend the soil around the hole with compost to ensure the tree has proper drainage. Then, place the tree and cover the roots with soil, watering occasionally as you go along to remove any air pockets that may have formed. Gently pat the soil down until the roots are completely covered.

2. Watering: Keep the soil around your Red Haven Peach Tree moist. Generally, watering once a week by leaving a hose at the base of the tree for a few minutes is sufficient. Once the soil around the tree has dried, water the tree again. During times of extreme heat, your tree may need additional water.

Tip: Yellowing of the leaves is a sign of overwatering while leaves that are dry and brown can be a sign of underwatering.

3. Fertilization: After your tree has been in the ground for 6 weeks, apply 1 lb. of a balanced fertilizer formula, such as 12-12-12. In addition, apply ¾ lb. of fertilizer in the spring before the tree pushes out new growth. Repeat this in the summer and fall as well.

4. Pruning: Your Red Haven Peach Tree will need to be pruned for the first two years in order to encourage fruit production. Prune your tree in late winter or early spring using pruning shears and trimming away any broken/dead branches as well as any crisscrossing branches by making your cut right below the dead wood. To achieve the open center shape, prune your tree so that the center section has only two or three main branches that will receive plenty of sunlight.

Tip: Once your tree begins to fruit, thin your peaches out to allow each peach to have 8 inches in space to grow and mature properly. Thinning out your peaches will help to increase your overall production. Peaches on the top and outside of the tree will likely be ready to pick first. They will be fully ripe when there is no green left on the skin and they come off with a slight twist.

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Choosing a Location for Peach Trees

The best way to succeed: plan before you plant!

Let’s discuss location: Do you know where you want to plant your new peach trees? Avoid many future problems by considering all aspects of the planting spot, such as:

  • Cross-pollination
  • Sun and good soil
  • The surroundings
  • Proper spacing
  • Consideration of future plantings

NOTE: This is part 3 in a series of 11 articles. For a complete background on how to grow peach trees, we recommend starting from the beginning.


Most peach trees are self-pollinating; however, additional nearby peach trees (within 50 feet) of a different variety can improve fruit-set.

Almost all of Stark Bro’s peach trees are self-pollinating, meaning your mature tree will bear fruit without requiring another peach variety’s pollen. The only peach tree we sell that requires a pollinator is Stark® Hal-Berta Giant™, which can be pollinated with any other peach tree.

Peach trees are the ideal solution for small spaces, because in most cases they don’t require planting another peach tree for cross-pollination. Consider planting one of these popular self-pollinating peach trees:

  • Contender
  • Redhaven
  • Reliance

Sun, Soil Type and Drainage

Peach trees thrive when growing in a location that receives full sun and has a well-drained, fertile soil. “Full sun” means at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day during the growing season. Light is vital to fruit production and quality, and also helps keep fungal issues from taking hold. Remember this when choosing a location for your new peach trees.

Good soil drainage is necessary to keep a peach tree’s roots healthy, and healthy roots are the foundation of a healthy tree. If you find that your native soil is composed of heavy clay that retains water after rainy weather, you should choose a different site for your peach tree.

Conversely, if your site has fast-draining, sandy soil, then your peach tree may exhibit drought stress and may require more frequent watering. For your growing success, we do not recommend planting peach trees in either rocky or heavy, pure-clay soils. If you can’t plant elsewhere, you can try amending the soil prior to planting or planting in containers or raised garden beds.

Even if your yard isn’t the most ideal location, take heart. Peach trees can be very adaptable and they respond well to soil additives like compost or fertilizers, so they can get along well even where the soil is nutritionally poor.

Amending the soil greatly depends on your individual location, so communicating with your local county Cooperative Extension is a wise first step. In general — to help with water distribution — you can add coir, like our Coco-Fiber Growing Medium to your peach tree’s planting hole, or mix in one-third sphagnum/peat to the soil at planting time.

As an alternative to all of that digging, you can:

  • Build a bottomless raised bed (at least 12 inches deep and at least 3 to 4 feet around).
  • Plant your peach tree in a container. Repot your tree in a 5-gallon container, to start. You can “pot-up” peach trees into successively larger containers as the trees outgrow them.


Peach trees can also be a landscaping asset, so choose a planting site with this in mind. Imagine your young peach tree as full-grown, and think everything through:

  • Are there utility wires or any other obstructions overhead?
  • Are there underground cables, pipes, irrigation systems, utilities or other lines to avoid?
  • Is there a sidewalk, driveway, or foundation within the range of your peach tree’s mature spread?
  • Might your peach tree block the view of something you want to see once it’s fully grown?
  • Will my neighboring trees be in the way or block sunlight from your apple tree as they grow?

Even a year or two after planting, a peach tree can be very difficult to successfully transplant, so take the time to plant it in the perfect place the first time around!

Space Wisely

Growers often ask about the recommended planting distances for peach trees to keep them away from patios, sewer lines, water pipes, etc. Ordinarily, patios will not be a problem because the soil beneath them is dry and compacted, and the roots will not be as encouraged to grow into this area. Conversely, sewer and water lines tend to be wet, which will encourage peach tree roots to grow toward them if planted too closely.

A smart distance is somewhere beyond your peach tree’s estimated maximum spread, which is roughly equal to the mature height of the peach tree you choose to plant. Our recommendations are below:

Space Between Trees:

  • Dwarf: 8 to 10 feet apart
  • Standard: 18 to 20 feet apart
  • Columnar: 2 to 3 feet apart
  • Miniature: 4 to 6 feet apart

Space for Future Plantings

If you’re new to planting peach trees, or you’re planting them in a new location, it’s wise to start with just a few. Later on, especially after you have reaped the rewards of growing your own peaches firsthand, you may want to expand your home orchard. Always err on the safe side and leave room for future peach trees, other fruit trees, berry plants, and other garden plants. You’ll be glad you did!

In This Series

  • Introduction

Getting Started

  • Acclimate
  • Location
  • Planting
  • Soil Preparation

Care & Maintenance

  • Fertilizing
  • Pest & Disease Control
  • Pruning
  • Spraying
  • Watering

Other Topics

  • Harvesting

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