As many friends know and have shared in the bounty, the home of my parents includes a few peach trees. Our home was purchased in 1964 and the peach trees started growing shortly thereafter. At one time, we had 6 peach trees, 1 apricot tree, and several sapling cherry trees on our small north Denver lot. All of them were planted by my father, who, if he liked the taste of what he bought at the store, would save the seeds, throw them into a shallow hole in the ground, and wait.
Believe it or not, the original peach tree is still standing – even though the entire tree died and was cut down to a stump of about 8 inches high many years ago. Dad was just going to wait until the stump more or less rotted, so it would be easier to remove, but the following spring, he saw a small shoot growing out of that stump at ground level, and decided to wait to see what would happen. Well, that old tree decided that it wasn’t done yet, because the shoot that it sent up grew very tall, and has been bearing fruit for several years.
The apricot tree and cherry trees are gone, and we lost 3 of the peach trees several years ago.
However, my mother who lived there up until last fall, was afraid to put too many of the rotted or badly bruised peaches that fell off the trees in the alley dumpster in fear of upsetting her neighbors. So what did she do? Well, at the age of 88, and a little over 4 feet tall, my mother buried every one of those unwanted peaches. She thought that she had dug deep enough and that her problem was solved.
The following spring, my mother had over 30 peach saplings in her yard, all about 6 to 8 inches high. At that time, she wasn’t really sure if she wanted to have new trees in her yard to take care of any longer, and I could tell that she vacillated between “I guess I’ll keep them” or “they have to go”. She gave many of those saplings away, and yanked out many more.
The neighbors love harvest time and have often told us that ours are the some of the best peaches they have ever eaten. We have given away bags-full to neighbors, and I have brought boxes full down to the office. We’ve had good years and bad years, but they just keep on growing and producing.
Unfortunately, the hailstorms we had this spring damaged much of the original peach tree, and some of its branches are dying. I did notice here recently, however, that the tree is sending shoots up from ground level…Again! Nature once again proves its resilience.