Scarlet Prince Peach TreePrunus persica ‘ Scarletprince'
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Prunus persica ‘ Scarletprince'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Scarlet Prince Peach Tree brings you fresh, tree-ripened peaches in July, in the middle of peach season. The very large fruits are almost completely dark red on the skin, with little fuzz. The melting yellow flesh is sweet and delicious, with a gentle tang. This freestone variety is easy to peel and prepare for salads and baking, and since it is self-fertile it delivers a full crop even if you only have room for one peach tree. In cooler zones it grows well on a south-facing wall.
Grow the Scarlet Prince Peach Tree in full sun for the best crop and the ripest fruit. Plant in well-drained soil that is not too heavy – lighten clay soils by digging in plenty of organic material. This variety has good resistance to bacterial leaf spot, a serious disease in the southeast. Other pests can usually be easily controlled. Prune to develop an open, bowl-shaped tree with no branches in the center. This gives the best sun exposure for the ripening fruits.
Who doesn’t like a peach? If you have never experienced eating one fully ripened on the tree, capturing the warmth of the summer sun in its golden flesh, then you haven’t really lived. Even the best supermarket peaches can’t equal it, and that moment makes the little bit of care and attention needed all worthwhile. Even more so when you can share that moment with family and friends, and what better time to share it than at the peak of summer, in July, where the summer heat is still fresh and the dog days of August haven’t settled in. You can capture that moment perfectly if you grow the Scarlet Prince Peach Tree, a variety that ripens at the peak of the season, in the early part of July. This melt-in-the-mouth peach has perfect flesh that is tender and free of fibers, and it explodes with delicious sweetness and peachy goodness, with a tangy touch to keep it interesting. You only have to see the dark red skin, almost free of fuzz, to know it’s going to be good. So don’t be surprised when it turns out to be simply terrific.
The Scarlet Prince Peach Tree is a vigorous tree growing to around 15 feet tall and wide, although its size will be influenced by how you grow it. The slightly glossy leaves are 6 to 8 inches long, and relatively narrow, but the beauty begins before the leaves, when the large pink blossoms open early April. Charming and very appealing, these blooms alone would win this tree a place in your flower garden. Almost as soon as the petals fall you will see tiny fruits developing, and this variety is fully self-fertile, so you don’t need a second tree for a full crop to develop. Over the next two months the fruits swell and grow rapidly, so that by late June they will be almost full-size.
The large fruits of this tree are of the highest quality, with a 3-inch diameter, and skin that when ripe is about 90% dark red, with only a little peach fuzz on it. It looks so good to eat – and it is. This is a freestone variety, so it is easy to eat to the last bite, or to prepare and slice for salads and baking. The flesh is golden yellow, and when fully ripe the area around the stone will be stained red. The flesh is free of fibers – experts call this ‘melting’ – and it melts in your mouth with wonderful sweetness and full flavor.
With its lovely spring blooms this fruit tree is perfect for planting on a lawn – you don’t need a special area in your garden. You can watch your harvest ripen as you enjoy the warmth and sun of spring and early summer. In cooler zones you might consider growing it as an espalier. This is also ideal in a smaller garden, since spread out on a sunny wall it takes up almost no room. The full sun means maximum ripening and sweetness, and means even in cool zones you can enjoy your own fresh peaches.
The Scarlet Prince Peach Tree requires about 850 chilling hours over the winter, with temperatures below 45 degrees. This matures the flower buds, and allows them to open normally in spring. So this variety is ideal for cooler zones, in zone 7 and in the cooler end of zone 8.
The sunniest spot in your garden is perfect for the Scarlet Prince Peach Tree, because peaches grow bigger and sweeter the more sun they get. The soil should be well-drained, and lighter, more sandy soils are preferred by peach trees. If your soil is heavy, plant in a higher area or on a raised mound of soil. Enrich the soil with organic material when planting, for nutrients and for drainage.
An important goal in breeding the Scarlet Prince Peach Tree was disease resistance, and this variety has good resistance to bacterial leaf spot, a serious disease, particularly in the southeast. Other pests can usually be easily dealt with, and this tree is vigorous and free of virus diseases. We recommend Neem Oil spray for minor insect problems. The goal in pruning is to maintain an open vase-shaped tree with no branches in the center, to allow as much sun as possible to penetrate. Prune in late winter or after harvest, developing a form like a bowl, with radiating branches spreading out. For the best quality and largest fruit, remove all but one peach from each cluster early, when the fruits are no more than the size of a quarter. Leaving too many peaches will mean small fruits that are mostly stone.
When a peach grower sees the word, ‘prince’ in the name of a variety they know it is the work of Dr. Dick Okie, the chief peach breeder between 1980 and 2010 at the US Department of Agriculture’s Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron, Georgia. Dr. Okie started with an older Californian variety called ‘O’Henry’, the first red-skinned peach created around 1970. He bred from that variety a new tree called ‘Blazeprince’, but both these varieties are susceptible to bacterial leaf spot (Xanthomonas). He kept breeding, and the result was the variety he called ‘Scarletprince’, with good disease resistance and top-quality fruits.
For a peach that will give you a bumper harvest right in the middle of the peach season, you can’t do better than the Scarlet Prince Peach Tree. All of Dr.Okie’s varieties are of top quality, and they are always high on everyone’s wish list. So order your tree right away, because our limited supply will soon all have been shipped out.