Growing a Reliance Peach Tree

My Peach Tree

My Peach Tree fully loaded with peaches.
My Peach Tree fully loaded with peaches.

Peach Tree, the Beginning

We bought a peach tree in the summer of 2003. It was about 6 foot tall and had flowers on it when we purchased it from a nursery. It was very thin in the trunk area but was very healthy. It is a  Reliance Peach Tree. A Reliance Peach is a white fleshed freestone peach. The Reliance Peaches we had seen in our local grocery store seemed to cost a bit more than other peaches so we thought we would give this type of peach a try. We really didn't have much to lose. It was our first fruit tree of any kind and we had high hopes for it. We paid $30.00 for it and figured if it failed we weren't out that much money. The tree was very healthy when we bought it and we started to dig a hole for it the minute we got home. Peach Trees do better in full sun with good air circulation so that the tree can produce lots of peaches.

Peaches, Peaches, and more Peaches

Planting the Peach Tree

So now its time to dig that hole. Lots of different articles I have read say the ph has to be correct, and the soil should be a sandy loam, and the soil has to have good drainage because peach tree roots will rot if they are too wet for too long. I live in Illinois and we have coal black rich soil. I have to say that we did not check the ph levels of the soil and there is nothing sandy about Illinois soil. At least not where I live. We dug a hole about 12 inches in depth, watered the hole and put the tree in. We attached some rope around the trunk because it was small and staked it to help it in the strength department. When we got the tree it was about 6 foot tall but very skinny in the trunk area. We didn't fertilize it we just watered it a couple of times a week, a slow trickle for about a half hour each time. The tree flourished, I'm happy to say. That first year we had the tree we had 4 peaches. They were the best peaches I have ever eaten, the juice just ran down my chin. Outstanding.

Peaches Galore

The next year we had more peaches than we knew what to do with. My husband ( who didn't want the peach tree in the first place ) was becoming obsessed with the tree. We had to count each and every peach that we got that summer. Over 400 peaches. He would get upset when the peaches bruised when they hit the ground. So he came up with a great idea that would help the peaches stay in good shape when they came off the tree. We did pick some but he wanted them to be as ripe and sweet as possible and being new at the fruit tree growing he didn't want to pick them all as he wanted to see how sweet they could get. So he got an old sheet and cut a slit on it so that he could slide it to the trunk and open it and stake it so when the peaches fell they would land on the sheet. It worked pretty good and we do this every year. It looks funny but we are not getting as many bruised peaches. This past summer we didn't get any peaches because of a late frost in the spring. We know of several other peach trees in our town and no one had peaches. I live very close to the Indiana border and most of the peach trees in Indiana were affected in the same way. When you have a hard frost after the peach trees get their flowers that become fruit, it kills the flowers or buds and you get no fruit. I wasn't sure I could live with my husband he was so disappointed at not having any peaches this past summer. Hoping for some this coming year.

Pest Control and Disease's

Some of the more common insects that can damage a peach tree include tarnished plant bug, stink bug, oriental fruit moth,peach tree borers, Japanese beetle, green June bug, and European red mite. The experts say to use a pest control insecticide for fruit trees. That will never be applied to our tree. The only pest that bothers our tree is the Japanese beetle. They are a very slow moving insect and my husband hand picks them off our tree every single day. What a guy. The most common disease that affects Peach Trees is leaf curl,and this can be controlled with a fungicide. Thankfully we have not had this problem. We hope to have our peach tree healthy and producing wonderful juicy fruit for years to come.

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Comments 58 comments

fratjoe18 profile image

fratjoe18 7 years ago from Bluffton, SC

I absolutely love peaches! great hub, I enjoyed reading it.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 7 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Thanks so much fratjoe kind of you to say so. Yes we love our peach tree, have made lots of jam with the peaches to enjoy year round.


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

That's a great hub! But a little peachy! Just kidding...Thanks for following me...I bookmarked this because I have been thinking about planting a peach tree. Thanks!


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

If you get your own peach tree Michael you will never buy one from a grocery store again. Thanks so much for reading my hub.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Oh! How I wish I was your neighbour. I'm sure you'd give me a bowl full of peaches every so often. Its a lovely story (good purchase). I smiled when I read your Hubby didn't want anything to do with it, but later became obsessed with it. Hope it brings a lot of fruit again this spring/summer.

Wow! and its organic too. :)


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I get about 400 peaches each summer Lady E and would be happy to give you more than you could eat. Thank so much for reading my hub.


WildIris 6 years ago

What a beautiful Hub and lovely pictures. Do you have trouble with breaking branches? Our peach trees set a lot of fruit and peaches are heavy. Even with supports and thinning branches break.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I don't think we have had any branches break. Thanks so much for viewing my hub Wildlris.


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

We planted 2 of them yesterday! Hope ours does as well as yours....


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Good luck on that Michael I will be hoping you tree produces many many peaches. Thanks so much for reading my hub.


rAcHi! 6 years ago

I too have a reliance peach tree and it was about a year old when we got it so it only produced 7 good peaches. they were absolutly the best peaches I ever had! the next year we got hit by that stupid frost so no peaches for us...:( here's hoping for this year!


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Same with us last year but my peach tree is now blooming so a bumper crop. Thanks for reading rachi.


DustinsMom profile image

DustinsMom 6 years ago from USA

Wow, this is awesome. Makes me want to go out and buy one!


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Thanks so much for reading my hub DustinsMom, they are by far the best peaches I have ever eaten, the juice just runs down your chin, I will never buy a peach from a store again.


Marc in Ottawa 6 years ago

This is one of the best sites to read about Reliance! I have convinced my wife to pick one up for me this week-end. It will be growing between my two Evans cherry trees! I expect the blossoms will come out at the same time! It will be chilly here on the week-end so I hope for no frost. Best of luck for you this year!


Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 6 years ago

When I read that that line that those were the best peaches you have ever eaten, I just wanted to have a couple of these trees here in my yard too. A good hub!


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Thanks so much Marc I hope you have many years of more peaches than you know what to do with. We are going to have a bumper crop this year, my tree is just loaded with peaches granted they are only as big as peas right now but we are going to have a good year.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Thanks so much Ultimate Hubber, the tree only cost us about 30 bucks when we bought it 5 years ago, and the tree was 2 years old, was a wonderful investment for us as we just love peaches and you just can't get a good one in the store.


Marc in Ottawa 6 years ago

Quick question if you don't mind: If the blossoms have been polinated and the petals are almost all fallen, can the remaining "fruit" or little stub be affected by the frost? Or better yet, when is it past the danger point when there is still a chance of frost? Thanks in advance for your input! :)


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Marc in Illinois where I live the danger of frost is usually over May 1st. In Canada however I don't know. If you bought a peach tree that can withstand the Canadian winters then a light frost shouldn't hurt it, but yes the little stub can be affected by frost. What kind of peach tree did you get?


Marc in Ottawa 6 years ago

I bought a Reliance and kept it inmy greenhouse until the cold passed.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

good idea Marc I hope it does well now. A Reliance is a good cold weather tree.


jrparnold@bluemarble.net 6 years ago

What time of year did you plant your marvelous tree?


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

In the summer of 2003, it's now huge and we get about 400 peaches every August. Thanks for reading my hub jparnold.


Mollym23 6 years ago

I also live in il and have been looking into growing peaches. Where did you buy your tree? Your hub has inspired me and I will for sure be buying a tree!


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

thanks for reading my hub Millym23, I bought it at a garden greenhouse.


keith1228 5 years ago

Hi next time you have a frost put up a bunch of christmas tree lights all thru it. use the type that gives off heat. you be surprised how well it works but if the wind is blowing hard put up a wind shield


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 5 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I live in Illinois we have a hard winter here but this tree is for my area., Thanks keith for viewing my hub.


jessicia 5 years ago

my tree has lots of flowers does that meen lots of fruit?


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 5 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Yes Jessicia that means lots of fruit. Good luck with your tree and thanks for reading my hub.


grandpared4 5 years ago

just planted my first tree in october my friend the landscaper says it should do well in the spring Our growing season is a little different in Utah


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 5 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

awesome hope you have great luck with it, thanks grandpared


Marc in Ottawa 5 years ago

Hello Again!!!

Well, I could hardly believe it! The Reliance Peach tree I planted last Spring bloomed this year and now there are about 40 little peaches growing! The blooms were a magnificent pink; I figured that would be all I would get and was satisfied with that, but when I saw the little fuzzy peaches I was so happy! My Evans cherry trees have tons of cherries too; looks like it will be a good year! We had lots of rain this Spring and no frost.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 5 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

That's awesome Marc


RODNEY 5 years ago

Oyr 15 year old peach tree grew so many peaches that when we were on holiday, the main branch keeled over - half still joined - but open. Anyway you know of how we can keep it going and what to do. i.e. strap it up, cut it off and it will sprout again ????


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 5 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Rodney you could try straping it back up, it might work, that's kind of how they do a graft on a tree. I would google grafting a tree or something like that and see what they have to say about it. Thanks for reading my hub.


carolinablue 4 years ago

how do you keep the squirrels off???


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 4 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

We also have a huge and I do mean huge black walnut tree in the yard and they seem to prefer that but they do eat some of the peaches, usually we get somewhere between 400 and 500 peaches so we don't mind sharing some, thanks for reading my hub carolinablue.


Marc in Ottawa 4 years ago

Spring is here, and so are the squirels; they have started nibbling at the branches with buds. I wrapped the usual netting around the tree but that means I will not see the flowers quite so well (the netting usually goes up when the fruit start growing); is it normal that the squirrels are chewing on the branches; I have to add that it has been a very dry spring here in Ottawa; maybe they are trying to get water from the tree? Any thoughts would be welcome.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 4 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I have never seen the squirrels here do that they just nibble on the fruit. Thanks for reading my hub Marc


maysville12 4 years ago

I just bought a Reliance peach tree this week. Decided to checkout required care. Nice to hear I won't be doing any spraying and still have a great fruit tree! I have read the "peach" because of it's thin skin allows us to consume all that pesticide...so the peach never makes it into my shopping cart...sad. I was told to remove the little peaches now growing on it, so the roots could establish....well I took many off, but there is still 50 or more still on. I live in zone 4... hoping for the best!


Charliegirl 4 years ago

We have two large peach trees on our new property. The neighbors said they have the best peaches but we had no fruit when we move in last May all was gone. Now we have peaches in the bud shape all over and expecting a 27 degree night. Will we loose all our peaches because of this cold weather if the flowers have changed to little buds?


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 4 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I think if the peaches are already established you should be ok as long as there are not to many nights that cold. Good luck Charliegirl.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 4 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Hi maysville, yup the first year I had our tree we had peaches as well, the best peach I have ever eaten, I would leave those on the tree, your tree will be just fine.


charliegirl 4 years ago

We have an older cherry tree that is full this year also. Last year we had two cherries and this year it is full of green finger size fruit. Hope with the cold it will not cause us grief. We are in the Cascade Area of Oregon two hours from Portland OR. South East. We expect 27 then 30 then 40 for this cold spell. Thank you so much for your comments. OH my neighbor stopped by and said she thinks our peach trees are different. The one in the back has large peaches when it produces and the one on the side of the house has small peaches. This house was abandoned for two years so she said she picked them and found them to be very good.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 4 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Wow we just bought a 2 year old Rainier dwarf cherry tree last week. Hope it brings us many years of cherries. Thanks so much charliegirl and much good luck with all your fruit trees.


charliegirl 4 years ago

We made it through the 27 degree night and all looks well. Not sure if damage shows later but this morning the fruit is still on the tree and looks the same as yesterday.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 4 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Awesome, sounds good charliegirl.


Marc 4 years ago

This Spring I did not have any blooms, so I suppose no fruit this year, although I did last year; the tree has only been on my property for two winters. Could it be that it skipped a year and will only produce next year?

I am rather disappointed since I took good care of it. What are your thoughta?


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 4 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I have always gotten blooms on my tree, however with a late frost those blooms can die and not produce peaches, what kind of peach tree do you have. I have not heard of them not having blooms every other year. I'm not sure what is going on, I would research your particular tree and see what is up. So sorry about that I would be disappointed as well.


Marc in Ottawa 4 years ago

My tree is a Reliance so I am not sure why it did not bloom this year; we had an early warm spell followed by cold weather, but no frost; my cherry trees did fine; could it be the tree was not established yet? It will be its third winter soon; flowered after the first winter but not after the second.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 4 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I'm not sure why it didn't bud this year, a couple of years ago in my area not a single peach on any tree in at least 2 states that I know of, maybe this is the way of the tree, although my tree is now 11 years old I believe and we have only had no peaches one year. My peaches are ripening now, we had a storm a week ago and 300 peaches hit the ground, there are still well over 400 peaches on the tree, way more than we can eat.


Marc in Ottawa 4 years ago

Thanks for responding; I will have to observe the bud formation this fall and spring to see what is happening. Good luck with all of those great peaches! Here in Ottawa. Canada, a group called Hidden Harvest Ottawa have set up a program for collecting fruits from privately and city owned fruit trees that are not being eaten to be distributed throughout the community and the Food bank.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 4 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

We have given away tons of peaches to friends, and a local assisted living facility, yesterday I made 2 peach cobblers...I have teenage boys lol, and made 33 jars of peach jam. By my last count we have over 1000 peaches. Yikes. And this is just one tree. The tree however has a way less leaves than a year ago, it might be on it's way out. We will replace it when it dies.


Marc in Ottawa 2 years ago

It may be of interest to some to know that I have found that one of the reasons why I did not have peaches these last couple of years is because I have caught small red squirrels eating the unopened buds in early January. I have since placed netting around the tree and the buds are now somewhat protected. I still keep an eye out in case there is an opening in the netting; but I see that I still have buds on the tree. Has anyone else noticed this?


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 2 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I have not noticed the squirrels eating the buds, but they sure will eat the fruit. Take one bite and move to the next peach, take one bite, and move on. I'm not sure what to do about this. I think the netting will help with your problem Marc.


Marc in Ottawa 2 years ago

Thanks for the response; I will be monitoring the situation until Spring and I will let you know if I am successful in getting peaches. It has been particularly cold this year (and early in the season) - we are going through a second Arctic vortex here in Ottawa, with temps going below -30 Celsius at night (-22 Fahrenheit). Hopefully that will not affect the 52 + fruit trees in my backyard too much. I imagine Illinois has also seen some very cold weather?


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 2 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Yes it's currently 15 with a wind chill of 0 but supposed to be 19 below tonight. I sure hope you get peaches this summer

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