Elberta Peach TreePrunus persica 'Early Elberta'
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Prunus persica 'Early Elberta'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Elberta Peach is a large peach with juicy yellow flesh beneath a golden skin that has a red blush when ripe. It produces its delicious fruit right in the middle of the peach season and there is no waste as the flesh of this freestone variety slips right off the stone. It is a terrific peach for eating fresh, with its tangy flavor, or for baking or canning so that you can enjoy it all year.
It is self-pollinating so there is no need for another variety, making this an ideal tree for the smaller garden. It grows well from zone 5 to zone 9 and just needs a warm, sunny location and some watering during the summer to reward you with bushels of delicious, naturally-ripened fruit straight from the tree, into the basket and into the hands of your family.
Peaches are one of the gifts of summer and eating a sun-ripened peach straight from the tree is an experience everyone should enjoy. However, with modern shipping methods, it is one that fewer and fewer of us actually do have, so planting a peach tree in your yard is more than just a way of growing your own fruit, it is an investment in giving your family a special experience that will last a lifetime.
Peaches are not so hard to grow – just find a warm, sunny location, plant your tree and in 3 or 4 years you will be tasting the first fruit of what will become a seasonal bounty. One of the good things about peaches it that you usually only need one tree as most varieties are self-pollinating. The Elberta Peach is such a variety, so just one tree will give you bushels of fruit without taking up a whole lot of space in your yard. If you do want to grow another variety, then Elberta is a mid-season tree and will grow well with an early or later-ripening variety to extend the fresh-peach season by weeks.
The Elberta Peach tree is a medium sized tree growing to around 15 feet with purple-pink flowers on the bare branches each spring. It is a vigorous and healthy variety that will begin to bear fruit in 3 years and be giving you a full crop after 8 years. It will continue to give and give for at least 20 years. Peach trees need a warm, sheltered sunny spot with as much sun as possible and the Elberta Peach will grow anywhere from zone 5 to zone 9, so in most of America you can grow this tree.
Peach trees grow best in well-drained soil, so sandy loam is the ideal soil-type, but they will do well in any soil that does not stay wet. Always try to plant on a slope and away from low-lying areas. Make sure your tree does not suffer from drought. For the first year water your new tree well once a week and then whenever the ground becomes dry. It is always best to give a good, deep soaking once a week during hot weather rather than sprinkle on a little water each day. Soak the area underneath then ends of the branches and not close to the trunk.
To plant your Elberta Peach Tree, dig a hole three times the width of the pot and add some rich organic material. This could be garden compost, rotted manure, rotted leaves or anything else you have. Place your new tree in the center of the hole you have dug. Take a sharp knife and cut from the top to the bottom of the root-ball in three places around the tree. This will free the roots and encourage your tree to spread out in search of food and water. Put back most of the soil, water well and when the water has drained away replace the rest of the soil. Put organic mulch over the root zone and renew this every year, covering a larger circle as your tree grows.
The Elberta Peach tree should be pruned towards the end of winter each year to encourage the biggest crop and to keep your tree healthy and long-lived. Your goal is to keep the center of the tree open so that sunlight can penetrate to encourage lots of flowers and to ripen the fruit. Establish an open frame-work of permanent branches radiating out from the trunk a little like the spokes of a half-opened umbrella.
Each year cut off the new shoots that will try to grow straight up in the center of the tree, as these will make too much shade. Cut back the existing smaller side branches to a few inches long to encourage more flowers. When the fruits are the size of a quarter remove some so that you have a peach every 6 to 8 inches along the branches. This way you will get nice big fruits instead of lots of small ones.
This is an heirloom variety of peach, which was developed in Georgia towards the end of the 19th century. Samuel Henry Rumph, who discovered it, named it after his wife and he was also the first person to use ice in rail cars to ship his peaches to the big cities in the Northeast. This was once the most widely-grown peach in America but it fell out of favor. Why? Because when picked green for shipping it stays tart and needs to be tree-ripened to give its best flavor. Then it is a delicious peach, with a refreshing, rich taste that is not over-sweet and has great appeal. Because it is lower in sugar than some other varieties it is also the ideal variety for canning, which means you can eat your own garden-grown Elberta Peaches every day of the year.
Elberta is a special variety of peach with a long-history. To be sure you receive the genuine article we take branches from properly-named trees and graft them onto sturdy roots. So beware of cheaper trees that may just be seedlings and will only prove to be a disappointment. Our trees are true to name and we are constantly receiving fresh new stocks so that our customers get the best trees shipped to them. However supplies of this popular heirloom variety can be limited, so order now or you may be disappointed.
While Elberta Peach Trees are generally healthy and vigorous, they can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases. Common pests include peach tree borers and aphids. Regular inspection of your tree can help catch these pests early before they cause significant damage. As for diseases, peach leaf curl, brown rot, and bacterial spot can affect peach trees. To prevent these, ensure your tree is properly watered, pruned, and in a location with good air circulation. Fungicides can also be used as a preventative measure.
Elberta peaches are known for their golden skin with a red blush when ripe. They are a mid-season peach variety, so the exact timing of ripeness can vary depending on your location and the weather conditions each year. However, the best indicator of ripeness is the color and feel of the fruit. When ripe, Elberta peaches will have a deep golden color with a red blush and will yield slightly to gentle pressure. Remember, the best flavor is achieved when the peaches are tree-ripened, so try to resist picking them too early!
Yes, you can grow an Elberta Peach Tree in a container, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, remember that this is a medium-sized tree that can reach around 15 feet in height, so you’ll need a large, sturdy container. The tree will also need well-drained soil and a sunny location. Regular watering is crucial, especially in the heat of summer, as container plants can dry out quickly. You’ll also need to prune the tree to maintain a manageable size and shape. With the right care and conditions, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown peaches even without a large garden space!
Elberta Peach Trees are self-pollinating, which means they don’t require another tree to produce fruit. However, if you want to extend your peach season, you can pair them with early or later-ripening peach varieties. In a garden or orchard setting, peach trees can be part of a diverse planting scheme. Consider pairing your Elberta Peach Tree with other fruit trees like apple, plum, or cherry. You could also plant it alongside flowering shrubs or perennials that bloom around the same time for a stunning spring display. Just remember to give each plant enough space to grow and thrive.
Elberta peaches are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Thanks to their freestone nature, they are easy to eat fresh right off the tree. Their delicious, tasty yellow flesh is also perfect for baking. Think peach pies, cobblers, or tarts. But one of the best things about Elberta peaches is that they are ideal for canning. This means you can preserve your harvest and enjoy your homegrown peaches all year round. They can be used in jams, jellies, preserves, or simply canned in syrup or juice. The possibilities are endless!
Elberta Peach Trees require a certain level of care to ensure a healthy tree and a good harvest. Regular watering is important, especially during dry periods. The tree should be pruned towards the end of winter each year to encourage a good crop and to keep the tree healthy. Pruning also helps to maintain an open center in the tree, allowing sunlight to penetrate and ripen the fruit. A layer of organic mulch over the root zone can help to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Finally, keep an eye out for any signs of pests or diseases and treat as necessary.
Elberta Peach Trees are relatively quick to start producing fruit. You can expect your tree to begin bearing fruit in about 3 years after planting. However, it will take a bit longer for the tree to start producing a full crop. This usually happens around 8 years after planting. So while you’ll need a bit of patience in the beginning, the wait will definitely be worth it when you’re enjoying your own homegrown peaches!
The Elberta Peach Tree has a rich history. It’s an heirloom variety that was developed in Georgia towards the end of the 19th century. The man who discovered it, Samuel Henry Rumph, named it after his wife. Rumph was also the first person to use ice in rail cars to ship his peaches to the big cities in the Northeast. The Elberta Peach was once the most widely-grown peach in America, but it fell out of favor because when picked green for shipping it stays tart and needs to be tree-ripened to give its best flavor. Despite this, it remains a beloved variety for home gardeners due to its delicious flavor and suitability for canning.
With proper care and maintenance, an Elberta Peach Tree can continue to produce fruit for at least 20 years. This includes regular watering, annual pruning, and keeping an eye out for any signs of pests or diseases. However, the exact lifespan can vary depending on the specific growing conditions and care the tree receives. But with a potential of two decades or more of delicious homegrown peaches, an Elberta Peach Tree is certainly a worthwhile investment for your garden!