New season - spring 2025You can pre-order now for shpiping in spring 2025. No need to pay at this stage.
Orange Pippin Trees USA logoSpecialist fruit trees for your orchard or back-yard

Contender peach trees

Prunus persica 'Contender'

Contender is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Self-fertility: Self-fertile
  • Flesh colour: Golden / Yellow

Contender is a high-yielding large yellow-fleshed peach with an excellent flavor.

This is a freestone peach - the flesh comes away easily from the stone. The flesh also resists browning after cutting.

If you are new to growing peaches then Contender is a great choice, as it is one of the easiest and most reliable peach varieties.


Contender peach trees for sale

You can pre-order now for spring 2025

  • Full-size 1-year bare-root tree $38.95
    Mature height: 16ft-24ft after 10 years
    Vigorous rootstock
    Out of stock
    Sorry we have sold out for this season

How to grow

Contender has a reputation for reliability - an unusual quality in peaches! This is problably due to its very late-blooming period, which means it is less likely to suffer frost damage to the blossom in the spring.

Contender is a "high-chill" variety, in other words it needs a long period of cool temperatures (just above freezing). This partly explains why it blooms so late in the spring, but also means it is not suitable for areas with warm winter climates.

As with most peaches, it is very important to ruthlessly thin the fruitlets after the blossom has finished, this ensures the remaining fruits will achieve a good size and flavor.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.


Contender was developed in the 1970s at North Carolina State University, and released in 1989. It is distantly related to Redhaven. It's consistent cropping and good flavor made it immediately successful with commericial growers, while its unusually late-bloom period has made it an important starting point in the development of new peach varieties.

Contender characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Pollination group5
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • Picking seasonMid
  • UsesEating freshCulinary
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-3 days
  • General resistanceAverage
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)Zone 4 (-34C)
  • Summer maximum temperaturesWarm (25-30C / 76-85F)
  • Chill requirementHigh-chill - 1050
  • Country of originUnited States
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999
  • Flesh colourGolden / Yellow
  • Fruit colorOrangeOrange flush

Similar varieties

  • Carolina Gold
    A self-fertile cold-hardy late-blooming yellow-flesh freestone peach.