Peaches have the reputation of being harder to grow than other fruit trees because they flower early and frost can prevent the formation of fruit. Peaches are also subject to infestation by peach twig borers, insects that burrow into the twigs or lower trunk and cause fruit damage. Healthy peach trees well-fertilized with organic compost and pruned well are the best defense against borers. Good maintenance practices are also essential to preventing disease. There are several varieties of peach trees that are reliable and disease-resistant.
‘Belle of Georgia’ is a well-known commercial peach tree that is vigorous, early bearing, and one of the most reliable peach trees. It grows well in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8. The skin and flesh of this peach are nearly white with a blush of dark pink at the stem. ‘Hale Haven’ is another well-known standard peach variety that can be disease-resistant with good growing practices. It is hardy in zones 5 to 8. The peach skin is yellow with pink tones and the flesh is bright yellow. ‘Babcock’ is an old favorite variety first cultivated in California in 1923. It is a freestone peach that is white fleshed, sweet and juicy, and has low acid content. ‘Babcock’ is hardy in zones 6 to 10 and ripens early. Peach trees that have been successfully cultivated for many years such as this one are more disease-resistant.
‘Fay Elberta’ is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9. It grows 6 to 7 feet tall and is a prolific bearer. The fruit skin is golden yellow with a red blush, and the flesh is yellow. ‘Fay Elberta’ has strong flavor and is good for freezing. It is self-fertilizing and blooms in the spring. 'George IV New York 1820’ is a white, freestone peach with exceptionally sweet flavor. It has greenish-white skin with a pink blush. This tree grows well in zones 5 to 9 and self-pollinates.
‘Peentau’ is also known as the Saturn or doughnut peach for its odd shape. It is a white-fleshed peach that is sunken in the center. It has an almond-like taste and it ripens early in the season. This peach tree grows well in zones 6 to 10 and is self-pollinating. ‘Indian Blood Cling’ has dark crimson skin and flesh and a tart flavor. This peach is a very dependable high-yielding tree that ripens in early July. It grows to a height of 6 to 7 feet on semi-dwarf rootstock. It is hardy in zones 5 to 9.