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!


Summer Pruning

The summer pruning has begun! Now that all the fruit are gone, it is time to begin thinking about orchard management that will affect next years crop. Summer pruning is one strategy to help control canopy vigor, increase air circulation within the canopy, and to increase the number of fruit bearing lateral branches for next year. In our orchard we set our pruning height at 8ft., this may vary depending on the age of your trees. The sides were also trimmed back 1-2 feet to maintain the alleyway width convenient to move equipment through. The pruning will be followed soon after with a fungicide application to help reduce the potential for disease.

Stone fruit field day, new Facebook page

Stone Fruit Workshop and Field Day

We would like to say thank you to everyone who attended our Stone Fruit Workshop and Field Day! We hope the day was informative and fun, it was great to meet more of the faces of the Florida peach industry and all who have an interest in peaches.

Many thanks to the staff at the UF/IFAS Plant Science Research & Education Unit, the faculty and staff from Florida and Georgia, and Maxijet for sponsoring our lunch.

If there are any further questions or comments you may have, please feel free to contact us. We hope to see you again next year or by a visit to your farm!


Facebook page

We have recently created a Facebook page for the UF Stone Fruit program, check it out!