The Produce News article on Florida peaches

Florida peaches are starting to shine!

Have a read of an article published yesterday in The Produce News of the Florida peach industry, and the work that we are doing to continually improve peach production in the Sunshine State.

UF One


Chill hours and climate sites

Curious about the chill hours your orchard has received this winter or other local climate data? The following sites will allow you to view your area and other parts of Florida and the Southeastern states for comparison. Current and past weather information is available.


Peach tree fruit thinning

Low chill peaches often have a shorter Fruit Development Period (FDP), ranging from 60 to 90 days for many varieties. Because the growth period is shorter, they are also smaller at maturity. A newly published EDIS publication gives Florida-specific information for thinning fruit on peach trees to help improve fruit size. It is available here:

Thinned tree (left) versus un-thinned tree (right)

Thinned and unthinned

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