Looking for a Heirloom Peach Seed

Now that I’m selling the house and not being able to take my trees with me I got the idea that I wanted to grow a new peach tree from seed. I did save a peach stone last year just for fun and wasn’t planning on using it for anything, but now the situation is different:

The ripe peach fruits on the mother tree were very delicious, so I expect a stone or seed from this particular tree would grow up to produce similar fruits:

I decided to give the seed an easy start by using a water pump plier on the hard stone surrounding the soft seed inside:

And this is were the disappointment kicked in:

The seed inside the hard shell was completely dried out. I tried two different stones, but both were dry and lifeless. I won’t even bother planting these as I don’t believe they’ll germinate at all.  They look a lot like the squash seeds I tried to save earlier, which I gave up on too because they dried out too.
Now what is going here? Is it really too late to use a seed saved only 6 months ago? I don’t think so. What I think is that the company who developed this particular type of peach tree focused on building its resistance to peach leaf curl and forgot all about its ability to reproduce. The funny thing is though, that this particular tree is NOT resistant to peach leaf curl after all.
And me? I just feel stupid for buying this unnatural crap. I’ll go look for a heirloom peach seed instead. If you know where to find one please leave a comment below.

16 comments on “Looking for a Heirloom Peach Seed

  1. -

    I think you’ll find most peach trees are grafted onto rootstock. When you grow from seed, there’s no predicting the fruit quality.

    An apple seed will not grow like its parent. Plant 6 seeds from one apple and you’ll get 6 different trees. Peaches are similar.

  2. -

    @Tom: Yes, and then you can pick the most healthy and robust of the 6 trees. That’s the beauty of natural selection.

    I took a closer look at my peach tree and I believe you’re right – 10 cm (4 inches) above the ground it seems like the colour and texture of the wood changes. I’m surprised that the rootstock is not longer though.

  3. -

    I saved peach seeds from a tree of my granny’s when she died.Took it and planted it in my garden and marked the spot and about two years later got several of them to grow. Now have four trees from doing this. I live in northern Indiana and the seeds were from Tennessee. Just make sure you mark the area that you plant it.

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    @ Donna: I’m glad to hear that it worked out for you. Plus, it’s comforting that the seeds actually came from your granny. I hope your new fruits will be of good quality.

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    I have an old english peach tree from my grandmother which I have grown 12 or more trees from the seeds. My seedling trees are not yet big enough to make peaches, but the seeds come from a tree that itself was also grown from a seed of the same kind so i feel it’s reliable. It produces small white peaches clingstone with wonderful flavor, almost no spraying, peaches are so good I have to pick them before they get ripe and bring them in to finish ripening inside to keep squirrels from taking them all.

  6. -

    @Michelle: Hopefully your new trees will produce good fruit too. And you know where to send any spare seed stones to 😉 I’m in Europe though…

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    Apparently, peaches are NOT like apples and trees grown from seed will resemble the parent plant’s fruit. I am just about to endeavour on a peach tree propagation adventure, with the help of a Mother Earth News article.
    (Google search Mother Earth News peach tree and it should come up)
    I’m soaking the seeds as we speak and they will find a place in my root cellar for a few months.

  8. -

    @G Reesor: Good luck with your project! Pictures are welcome 😉
    It reminds me: I think I still have a few peach seeds stored in the bottom drawer of our refrigerator… Better go have a look.

  9. -

    The difference between apple and peach seedlings is that apples must cross pollinate to produce fruit while peaches tend to be self fertile; so peach seedlings tend to be more uniform, especially if there have been a number of uniform seedling generations.

  10. -

    @Dale: I guess peaches are just like tomatoes, which are also self-pollinating.
    I’m still looking for peach seeds – I just checked my refrigerator, and the seeds I had saved in there have dried out completely 🙁

  11. -

    Hi everyone,
    I have plenty of viable northern native heirloom peach tree seeds available through The Seed Savers Exchange (with pictures of ripe fruit on the tree) just search “peach” &/or “misc. fruit” in the 2013 SSE member yearbook ~ and also here:
    http://www.localharvest.org/iowaindian-white-freestone-heirloom-peach-C242 . There’s a picture of some of my second & third generation trees in bloom here:
    http://www.localharvest.org/catnip-farm-M87 .
    All the best in your quest!
    Ericka in Iowa

  12. -

    @Ericka at Catnip Farm: Nice pictures! 🙂 Would you be able to send seeds to Europe where I am? Maybe I could use an IRC for that purpose (International Reply Coupon ~ SASE)…
    I’m in hardiness zone 7a.

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    I just received my order for peach seeds from Catnip farms last week and just completed step one of forced germanation. There is a much higher chances of stone fruit keeping the traits of their mother. Though that is not always the case. Expecially in hybrids.

    in regards to apples almost none of them grow true from seed. I have read that the famuse will if not crossed with a different variety. But it is an incredibly old variety and is beleived to have been created by peasants who breed from seed. There were also one mentioned from russia that was also bred from seed so is genetically stable. Then you get into native american varieties. In 1850 all the apple trees of any quality in southern US was native american bred trees. There are genetically stable varieties out there but they are fast becoming extinct thatnks to grafting.

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    @Velviej: Thanks for the info. Good luck with your seeds – you’re welcome to send in pictures via email with your results, then I can show them in a blog post.

  15. -

    I have hairloom peach trees. They are white flesh, sweet, free stone and slip skin. Although they are small and not as juicy as the new hybrids, I’m very happy with them. The hybrids are great but these are so hardy and easy to grow I wouldn’t trade.They grow very easily from seed and reproduce true to the mother tree. They do require a lot of pruning but they’re worth it.

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      Sounds delicious!
      How long does it take from planting a seed until you can pick fruit from a new tree?

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