Stone fruit variety series: 300-400 Chill hours

These varieties require 300-400 chill hours between 32-45 F (0-7 C) degrees and are suitable to grow in North central and North Florida.

UF 2000- 300 chill hours

Mid season ripening, 50-70% red skin on yellow ground color, vigorous trees and medium size fruit.

UF Blaze- 300 chill hours

Fruit development period (FDP) of 83 days. Released in 2002, 80-90% red, with a yellow orange background color, heavy cropping.

Flordadawn- 300 chill hours

FDP of 60 days, shortest of any named variety! 80% red blush, released in 1989.

UF Sharp- 325 chill hours

FDP of 105 days, released in 2006. 60% red blush on a deep yellow to orange ground color, reliable cropping with good fruit size, shape and firmness.

Flordacrest- 350 chill hours

Released in 1988, FDP of 75 days. 60-80% red blush over bright yellow ground color.

Gulf king- 350 chill hours

Released by the efforts of UF, UGA, and USDA-ARS in 2004. FDP of 77 days. Fruit 80-90% red on deep yellow ground color, firm fruit.


Peach Scab

A newly revised EDIS publication covering Peach Scab is now available!

Peach scab can have a huge impact on the marketability of peaches, so scouting for symptoms of the infection on a regular schedule is important. Symptoms of the infection on shoots and leaves include small raised circular lesions of about 2mm, which grow up to 8mm. Symptoms on the fruit are similar, except that lesions are sunken.

The greatest chance for infection occurs from petal fall through shuck split, though the peach scab life cycle is year-round. The following publication will show you what to look for when scouting, background information on the disorder, and products that can be used and when to use them to help reduce fruit losses.

Peach Scab

Focus: Peach varieties that require 200-300 chill hours

These varieties require 200-300 chill hours between 32-45 F (0-7 C) degrees and are suitable to grow in central Florida.

UF Beauty- 200 chill hours

Fruit development period (FDP) of 82 days. Skin color is nearly all red, with darker red stripes, firm flesh. Released 2002.

UF Gold- 200 chill hours

FDP of 80 days. Large fruit with 70-90% blush with an orange yellow ground color. Released in 1996 by UF.

Tropic Snow- 225 chill hours

FDP of 90-97 days. White flesh peach with 50% blush on a creamy ground color, low acid and sweet. Released in 1989 by UF and Texas A&M.

UF One- 250 chill hours

FDP of 95 days. Medium to large, yellow very firm flesh. Red blush over yellow ground color. Released in 2008.

UFO- 250 chill hours

FDP of 95 days. Interesting donut shaped peach, firm fruit with 50-70% blush. Patented 2002.

Flordabest- 250 chill hours

FDP of 82 days. 90-100% blush, large fruit with firm yellow flesh. Released 2009.

For more information about the Stone Fruit Program, you can visit the following:

Photos courtesy of the University of Florida

Focus: Peach varieties that require 100-200 chill hours

Stone fruit variety series:

In our first post series, we will discuss the varieties released from the UF breeding efforts based on their chill hour requirements. This post will focus on those varieties requiring 100-200 hours of temperatures between 32-45 degrees, which are adapted to grow in south and central Florida.

UF Sun- 100 chill hours

Released in 2004, Fruit development period (FDP) of 80 days. Early season heavy yield, medium-sized fruit. Symmetrical shape.

UF Best- 100 chill hours

Released in 2012, FDP of 85 days. Fruit develops 95-100% red color over a yellow ground color, large fruit.

Tropic Beauty- 150 chill hours

Released in 1989, by UF and Texas A&M. FDP of 89 days. medium sized fruit with 70% blush on yellow ground color.

Flordaprince- 150 chill hours

Released by UF in 1982. Large fruit with 80% red blush and red stripes. FDP of 78 days, standard grown throughout the world.

Flordaglo- 150 chill hours

Released in 1988 by UF, FDP of about 78 days. Fruit have a red blush over a white ground color. Bacterial spot resistant.

UF Gem- 175 chill hours

Released recently in 2013. Fruit size 2.5 inches and symmetrical. FDP of 83 days. Almost 100% blush colored.

Photos courtesy of University of Florida.

Peachtree Borers

The peachtree borer and lesser peachtree borers can cause great damage to the integrity of the trunk and scaffold limbs, causing decline of the tree along with lower productivity. Adult borers lay eggs in splits or gaps in the bark in the lower trunk region close to the ground. In Florida, the lesser peachtree borer emerges in February and March and is often found through the entire year until winter. Borers are commonly found in trees that have disease or have been damaged in some way, therefore an active disease management plan and making good pruning cuts that have the best chance to properly heal is essential.

Borer presence may be determined through the use of pheromone traps placed in the orchard. Using beneficial nematodes can provide some control of the borers. For any spray application for borers it is important that the trunk is completely covered, which may require a more directed spray.

For more information on peachtree borers, the following EDIS publication will be helpful:

And for management and chemical spray information, the 2018 Southeastern Peach, Nectarine, And Plum Pest Management And Culture Guide is a good reference:…/pub…/files/pdf/B%201171_10.PDF

Peach Rust

Peach rust can often be found on the leaves of peach trees growing in Florida in warmer and wetter months of the year. It is a fungal disease, which if not controlled, can cause defoliation and blooming at improper times of the year. This could greatly impact the crop for the following season.

It is possible to find rust on fruit of later maturing varieties, but it is uncommon, due to the early harvest season in the state in the drier periods of the year. A common sign of the disease is a speckling of yellow spots on the top surface of the leaf blade which eventually turn necrotic, and patches of rust colored fungal spores on the underside.

This disease can be managed by a fungicide treatment in the early season, but may require several applications during the season, especially in a wetter than usual season. Because moisture can promote the spread of the disease, keeping irrigation from wetting the leaves and trunks by way of drip irrigation or micro sprinklers can be beneficial.

For more information on Peach Rust, the following EDIS publication can explain more:


Stone Fruit Breeding Program History

Since 1952, the UF Stone Fruit breeding program has been working to find varieties suitable for cultivation in Florida. For more information on the history of the program, have a look at the following page:

Have a look at some of the history in the following pictures!


San Jose scale confirmed

During the growing season when we found insects or other issues in our orchard we often submitted samples of them for identification. One sample, which without a microscope appeared to be a disorder of the fruit was found to be the effect of a scale insect, and has been confirmed as San Jose scale. Thank you to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Lyle Buss (UF insect ID lab) for assisting us with identifying this sample. Photos courtesy of Mr. Buss.

Quadraspidiotus perniciosus on peach1 - BussQuadraspidiotus perniciosus on peach3 - Buss

End of season Stink Bug captures

One of our speakers at the Stone Fruit Workshop and Field Day this year, Cory Penca, has compiled some of his data on stink bug captures at several sites in Florida during the 2017 and 2018 peach growing seasons. The trend for the number of stink bugs caught is downward this year, possibly due to the cooler weather we experienced this season. This data will help to establish the threshold of when to take action to control the pest.

Have a look:

Did you experience any unmarketable fruit due to Stink Bug damage or other major pest damage this year? Let us know!