Which Ones Grow Here?
Reliance Peach is the hardiest peach tree, capable of fruiting after -30 F winters. Expect bright pink blossoms in the spring and a heavy crop of medium size sweet peaches in the summer. Peach trees look great in the summer with their long, glossy leaves. Peaches are perfect for a specimen tree by your patio or rock garden. You can grow several cold-hardy peaches in Wyoming. Reliance, Contender, Blushing-star, and Intrepid are the hardiest. These trees are self-fruitful, but like any other fruit, they will perform much better if they have a pollinator. Any of the aforementioned trees pollinate each other. It takes about 4 years for peaches to start producing fruit.
Crop Thinning is Important
When you finally do get a crop of fruit, thin heavily. That way your fruit is sure to ripen and get full sized. Peaches can crop so heavily that they break branches from the weight. Thin the fruit so there is only one fruit every 3-5 inches. With your fingers spread out, your hand should not be able to touch more than one fruit at a time.
If you decide to grow peaches in Wyoming you may need to be aware of something called iron chlorosis. We tend to have very alkaline soil, which blocks the absorption of some micro-nutrients, mainly iron. This causes leave yellowing. A simple fix is to add some iron fertilizer annually. EDDHA is the most effective iron treatment for our soil. Check out our post on chlorosis for more info on treatment and causes.
Most fruit trees don’t get huge. The biggest exception is apples. They can get enormous. Peach trees don’t get particularly large, but they still need to be pruned to put on a full crop and stay healthy. The tree will live longer and be much more enjoyable if you keep it pruned down 8×8’ or so for easy picking. The Napa Master Gardener Column has a great article on fruit tree pruning.