Historic note
 Title Page

Group Title: Circular - Florida Cooperative Extension Service ; 299-B
Title: Peaches and nectarines in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072523/00001
 Material Information
Title: Peaches and nectarines in Florida
Series Title: Circular Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Physical Description: 16 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Arnold, C. E ( Calvin Eugene )
Crocker, T. E ( Timothy Eugene ), 1944-
Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1976
Subject: Peach -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Nectarine -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 16).
Statement of Responsibility: C.E. Arnold and T.E. Crocker.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "November 1976."
General Note: "12-5M-76"--P. 16.
Funding: Circular (Florida Cooperative Extension Service) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072523
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 51254638

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Historic note
    Title Page
        Title page
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida






T. E. Crocker


A- -1
^-!'s^ '^



C. E. Arnold and T. E. Crocker'

Commercial acreage of peaches
in Florida is now estimated at
7,000 acres. Madison County has
approximately 5,500 acres. The
northern area extends from Madi-
son County west and is based on
650-hour varieties while the cen-
tral area is based on recently de-
veloped 300-hour varieties.
Peaches planted for home use are
also a sizeable factor. The peach re-
quires more specialized care than
many homeowners give. It is hoped
this circular will help homeowners
as well as outline production prac-
tices for commercial orchards.

Site Selection
Proper site selection and choice
of variety rank as two of the most
important factors in successful
peach growing. Good air and water
drainage are essential to tree
growth and production. In select-
ing a site, avoid low areas (pock-
ets and sections characterized by
late spring frosts. The effect of
cold on cropping has been studied
in Alachua county for 11 seasons.
Seven out of 11 crops on a cold site
were lost; but, on a warm site a
few miles away, there were only 2
partial crop losses due to spring
frost after February 10.
Even in central Florida, critical
1Associate Horticulturist, Agricultural
Research Center, Monticello and Exten-
sion Horticulturist (Associate Profes-
sor), Fruit Crops Dept., Gainesville.

temperatures for fruit kill can oc-
cur throughout February and
March in cold locations; thus, late
blooming due to delayed dor-
mancy break is not as good in-
surance as choice of good sites.
Peach flower buds that have just
begun to swell will stand tempera-
tures as low as 200F. Open blos-
soms show injury at about 260F.
Following petal fall the young
fruit are generally killed by mini-
mums of 280F. The generalized
map (Fig. 1) shows last dates
when 280F occurs in 30% of the
years. Use of good sites and rec-
ommended varieties should reduce

Fig. I-Generalized pattern of date after which
the risk of a temperature as low as 28 degrees
is 30 percent.

risks of spring frost injury to 10
to 20% of the years in central
Peaches can be grown on a wide
variety of soils, provided there is
good internal drainage in the up-
per 4 to 6 feet. Avoid "hardpan"
soil unless an excellent system of
subsoil drainage tiles is provided.
Water damage has occurred on
normally well-drained soils of
heavy texture during exceptionally
wet summers in northern Florida.

Orchard Layout
Normal spacing is 20 by 20 feet
(108 trees per acre). All common
varieties are self-fruitful so trees
of each variety should be planted
in solid blocks for easier spraying
and harvesting. There have been
some 10 x 20 and 15 x 20 plant-
ings, with the expectation that a
larger number of trees per acre
will result in increased yields per
acre during the early life of the
orchard. Peaches established at 10
x 20 have been more difficult to
prune and handle than normal
spacing. On lighter soils the 15 x
20 spacing has been satisfactory.

Nursery Stock
June-budded trees 21/2 to 4 feet
high are a good size to set. Al-
though acceptable, smaller sizes
are likely to have rather limited
root systems and may start poorly
in light soils. Larger sizes are
more difficult to handle and more
expensive, but they grow off bet-
ter in sandy soils and yield more
during the first 4 seasons (2).
Peach varieties for home or com-
mercial planting should be budded
on rootstocks resistant to both

root-knot nematode species, Me-
loidogyne incognita and M. java-
nica. Okinawa and Nemaguard
peach stocks have satisfactory re-
sistance and are the only stocks
recommended for Florida. Other
stocks such as S-37 and Rancho
Resistant, are sometimes used but
are susceptible to M. javanica;
Elberta, Tennessee "Naturals",
Lovell and other commonly used
seedling rootstocks are susceptible
to both types.
A new nematode type has been
found that infests Okinawa and
Nemaguard but it is not yet wide-
spread in Florida. Long-range
studies are needed to make defi-
nite recommendations for northern
Florida but in central Florida
there is hardly any choice but to
use resistant stocks. If common
peach stocks are used in northern
Florida, fumigate bands 6 to 8 feet
wide in fall before planting with
EDB, DD, or Telone as recom-
mended by manufacturers of these
Peaches are generally propa-
gated by T-budding in June. Stra-
tified seeds should be planted in
late January or early February.
Remove seeds from the pits in au-
tumn and store in damp peat or
perlite at 35 to 450F for 40 to
60 days before planting. If the
seeds are not removed from the
pits, the pits must be stratified
and kept on cold storage for up to
100 days; however, even this treat-
ment has not always been satis-
factory. If seeds are allowed to be-
come dry before sprouting occurs,
they may again become dormant.
Nursery site approval is required
by the Division of Plant Industry
for burrowing nematode control.
For this and other reasons, nurs-

ery propagation should be left to
the specialist.

Setting Trees
Peach trees are generally set
bare-rooted in the dormant season
in December or as soon thereafter
as possible so that new root growth
can develop before spring growth
begins. Plant slightly deeper than
the trees were grown in the nurs-
ery. Peach trees need not be wa-
tered at planting if soil is moist
and packed well around the roots.
Trees that are planted early in the
winter and kept free of weed com-
petition will require a minimum of
watering the first season. Usually
only 1 or 2 basin type irrigations
in April and May will be required,
except in unusually dry years or
on the coarser sands.
Keep the area 3 to 4 feet out
from newly-set trees free of weeds
the first season. Plant middle
strips with oats or rye, or leave
uncultivated until mid-April for
protection from blowing sand.
Cover can be left in the middles
throughout the first summer if de-
sired. In November, disc under all
cover in the orchard.
Cultivate bearing orchards thor-
oughly to early January, then leave
the soil as firm and clean as possi-
ble during and after bloom in order
to reduce frost hazard. Resume
cultivation after danger of frost
is past and keep orchard clean un-
til just before fruit harvest. After
harvest, native cover crops or
hairy indigo may be grown. Avoid
plant covers which tend to build
up stink bug populations (see in-
sect notes).

Weed Control
Chemical weed control is being
developed to supplement mechan-
ical control. A recommended pro-
cedure is to herbicide a strip down
the tree row and keep the middles
between the rows closely mowed.
Herbicides cleared for peaches in-
clude Casoron, Dalapon, Enide,
Simazine, Sinbar, Karmex, and
Treflan. Some of these should not
be used on young trees, and grow-
ers should consult label instruc-
tions. Paraquat, a contact herbi-
cide, is registered for use on trees
of all sizes in the orchard and is
effective for burn-down of existing

Rabbit Control
Newly-set and yearling trees are
often damaged by girdling of the
trunks by rabbits. Wire screening
can be used to protect a few trees,
While Arasan 42-S (a Thiram com-
pound) has been used as a repel-
lent with considerable success on
larger plantings. The material is
either brushed or sprayed on the
trunks after setting or in early
fall. Also, rabbits will feed on
prunings in preference to young

Prior to setting trees, apply
liming materials as needed to bring
soil within a range of pH 6.0 to
6.5 Use of some dolomitic lime is
recommended, especially if the
magnesium level in the soil is low.
Because of soil type variations,
there is a distinct difference in the
fertilizer recommendations for
peaches growing on the loamy soils
predominately west of the Suwan-
nee River, and those growing on

the sandy soils of peninsular Flor-
ida. It is suggested that mixed
fertilizers for the western area in-
clude 8-8-8 or similar materials.
Fertilizers for the peninsular area
should approximate a 12-4-8 for-
mulation. All fertilizers should
contain 1 or 2% zinc oxide (ZnO)
equivalent when used on young
trees. On older trees, zinc may be
applied as part of the regular
spray program by including 2
pounds of neutral zinc per 100 gal-
lons of water in 1 or 2 cover sprays
each year, or it may continue to be
supplied in the regular fertilizer
program (also see notes under rust
Because quickly available nitro-
gen applied sufficiently ahead of
bloom to be taken up by the tree is
believed to improve set of fruit,
and because delayed availability of
nitrogen may delay fruit maturity
and reduce color, it is recommend-
ed that only mineral sources of
nitrogen be used in peach ferti-
In addition to zinc, sandy soils
are sometimes deficient in other
minor elements. Boron, at rates of
5 pounds BO.a per acre, and occa-
sionally manganese, as sprays con-
taining 0.75 metallic Mn per 100
gallons have been needed to correct
symptoms. Requirements for other
minor elements on peaches in Flor-
ida have not been determined. It is
known that peaches are very sensi-
tive to copper, hence copper must
not be used in peach sprays.
Apply fertilizer in the first (or
planting) year in a circular area
6 to 24 inches from the trunk as
1/8 pound per tree in February
1/1 pound in late May
1/2 pound in July

On the loamy soils of west Flor-
ida the schedule may be altered to
provide 1/2 pound in February and
112 pound in June. In wet seasons
when nitrogen is leached rapidly
and trees show slow growth, apply
1/4 pound of sodium nitrate or cal-
cium nitrate or equivalent amount
of ammonium nitrate per tree in
In the second year, apply ferti-
lizer to cover the area 1 foot from
the trunk to 1 foot beyond the
branch spread. Apply 1 to 11/2
pounds per tree in January and the
same quantity in late May. In the
third year, start broadcast appli-
cations of mixed fertilizer in quan-
tities sufficient to supply 30 to 40
pounds actual nitrogen per acre in
January and again in late May or
after crop is harvested. Apply 20
to 30 pounds of actual nitrogen per
acre if needed in early August dur-
ing wet seasons.
Peach orchards in Florida are
usually mature at the beginning of
the fourth year. Differences in va-
riety and grove practices dictate
variation in fertilization practices.
It is suggested that the recom-
mended fertilizers be applied in
sufficient quantities to supply 80
to 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre
each year. Use 1/3 in the first ap-
plication 2 to 3 weeks ahead of
bloom, and 2% in the second appli-
cation in late May or after the crop
is harvested in the case of later
ripening varieties.
Excessive nitrogen can delay
fruit ripening up to 10 days. Very
fertile areas may need only 20 to
30 pounds nitrogen per acre in the
spring application. Weeds must be
controlled so fertilizer is made
available to trees, not weeds.
Applications of 20 to 30 pounds

Table 1. Leaf Analysis Levels in Peach

Low Range Optimum Range
-percent of dry weight basis-

Nitrogen (N)
Potassium (K)
Phosphorus (P)
Calcium (Ca)
Magnesium (Mg)

Zinc (Zn)
Manganese (Mn)
Copper (Cu)
Iron (Fe)
Boron (B)

less than 2.8
less than 1.0
less than 0.15
less than 0.80
less than 0.30

3.00 3.50
1.10 2.00
0.17 0.29
.90 1.50
.30 1.00

-parts per million dry weight basis-

less than 16
less than 30
less than 4
less than 40
less than 20

17 60
40 100
7 18
50 100
25 80

of additional nitrogen in mid-Au-
gust may help control leaf drop
from rust and subsequent prema-
ture bloom in central Florida.
Some growers have leaf samples
analyzed as a guide to fertilization.
Samples should be taken from mid-
shoot areas of average terminals
in June or July. Based on limited
experience, the following levels are
suggested (Table 1).

Irrigation of bearing trees has
materially improved fruit develop-
ment and significantly increased
young tree growth. Most major
commercial orchards are equipped
for irrigation with volume guns,
perforated pipe or sprinklers. The
varieties of commercial interest in
Florida ripen in late April and
May when rainfall is usually light.
Trees probably need at least 4
inches of water per month, from
soil storage, rainfall, or from irri-
gation, for maximum fruit growth.
Applications should be made be-
fore moisture stress becomes ex-
cessive. Frohi 2 to 3 inches every
10 days is suggested.

Pruning is necessary to form a
well shaped, strong tree, and to
control fruit bearing. Peach trees
are pruned to form an open-center.
In one method of pruning or train-
ing, trees should be cut back at
planting time to a single stem 24
inches high. If laterals have
formed on the nursery tree, cut
lower ones off flush with the stem,
but allow 1 to 2 inch stubs to re-
main on the upper ones. This is
necessary to insure leaving buds
for new shoot development. After
the tree sprouts well in the spring,
select three evenly spaced, vig-
orous, wide-angled shoots to be the
major scaffolding (see Fig. 2).
Remove or cut back other shoots
and remove all low-growing suck-
ers, including those from the root-
In the first winter, cut back the
main scaffold branches approxi-
mately one-third to a lateral
branch growing on the outside of
the main branches. Develop 3 pri-
mary branches and prune for
evenly spaced secondary branches.
Water sprouts and limbs that are

Fig. 2-Select three vigorous wide-angled shoots
for the framework branches and cut back other

too low to the ground should be re-
moved. Trees should be kept grow-
ing low; this enables more of the
fruit to be harvested from the
ground in later years. Continue
this training procedure for the sec-
ond and third winters.
During March or April each
season, rub off sucker growth from
the trunk.
Bearing trees should not be
pruned until late December or
January to avoid winter injury.
After the third winter, pruning
consists of removing overcrowded
branches, removing water sprouts,
heading back terminal growth to
prevent the tree from growing to
excess heights, and keeping the
center of the tree open to allow
sunlight to reach all parts of the
tree. Fruiting laterals need to be
thinned and renewed depending on
vigor and variety habits, in order
to reduce excess fruit load.
Pruning is an operation that
growers and research workers
both need to study. Next to thin-

ning, it is one of the major pre-
harvest production costs. Studies
reported from other areas show
18 to 23 hours labor per acre for
pruning, and 21 to 35 hours for
thinning. There have been a few
studies of mechanical top-hedging,
followed by some thinning cuts
which suggest pruning time could
be cut in half. Topping in summer
after harvest to promote better
hanger development and height
control should be studied.

Peach trees often set more fruit
than can be matured to marketable
size, even though attempts are
made to avoid excess cropping by
careful pruning. The fruit should
be thinned before pit hardening,
leaving one fruit approximately
every 6 inches along the branches,
depending on the variety and mar-
ket conditions. Thinning reduces
total poundage, but profit depends
on the price as related to size. De-
termine the extent of thinning on
the basis of market demands and
response of the variety to thin-
For maximum effect on improv-
ing size and early ripening, thin-
ning should be done as early as
possible. Some growers make a
first thinning during bloom when
conditions favor heavy fruit set.
At present, no recommendations
are available on the use of chemi-
cal sprays for thinning peach
fruits under Florida conditions.

Harvesting and Marketing
Peaches are harvested when
nearly mature, but still firm
enough to ship well. Change in
ground color is used to judge pick-

ing stage. Peaches for local mar-
kets can be picked more mature
than those to be shipped long dis-
tances. A rapid increase in qual-
ity and size occurs during the
ripening and very careful judge-
ment is necessary to obtain max-
imum maturity while avoiding
Losses due to over-maturity.
Pick and handle very carefully
to prevent bruising. Peaches do
not mature uniformly on the tree,
and, therefore, it is necessary to
pick over the orchard 3 to 4 times
at 2-day intervals in order to ob-
tain those fruits that have reached
just the right stage for marketing.
The grower needs to recognize
that there is probably no place for
the small to medium size orchard
by itself in the marketing picture.
Peaches must be carefully graded,
sized, brushed, cooled and packed
for long distance shipment. This
requires a sizeable investment in
a packinghouse, which isn't likely
to prove economically feasible with
much less than 100 to 150 acres.
Growers having up to 20 acres
may be able to sell by customer
picking or on local markets with-
out extensive packing. In such
orchards a succession of varieties
is essential. It is poor practice to
transport fruit more than a few
miles to a packinghouse, so grow-
ers need to plan their market out-
lets carefully before planting.
Another important considera-
tion in harvesting and marketing
is to plan variety plantings to in-
sure use of harvest labor and pack-
ing facilities evenly over as long
a period as possible. Additional
new varieties are needed to give
a ripening succession from late
April through early June, and the
future of the industry will be

primarily dependent on such de-
velopment. Fortunately, the sup-
ply and variety of fresh fruits is
limited in May and market com-
petition does not become heavy
until June, when volume produc-
tion of southern peaches and other
fruits start moving to market.
Present production of peaches
for fresh use in the eastern United
States averages over 5,000,000
bushels per month during the sum-
mer season. A variety or varieties
ripening together probably should
not constitute more than 15 to 20%
of the total acreage, assuming a
harvest period of 7 to 10 days for
a variety. Up to 2,000 acres of
production per week in Florida has
been marketed profitably but ap-
proximately 3,000 acres of a va-
riety like Maygold has often re-
sulted in too low prices for good

An ideal commercial peach
should produce firm fruit 2 inches
or over in diameter, with yellow
flesh, capable of a week's market-
ing life and with 7,'; or more at-
tractive surface blush. It should
also be freestone and of course for
Florida, needs local adaptation and
early enough ripening to market
before other areas. In such terms,
all present varieties represent
some compromise of desirable
traits. Fruit without high blush
color or under 17/8" diameter have
not been very acceptable in com-
mercial markets. Varieties suitable
for commercial use are discussed
briefly below and others useful for
home plantings are listed in Table
2. For further information on area
adaptation, see chilling require-
ment of varieties.

Table 2. Variety Characteristics
Normal Flesh Approx.
Ripening Flesh Stone Firm- Principal Chilling
Date* Color Freeness ness Use** Required

Red Ceylon Mid-June White Free Soft H 50
Flordared Late April White Free Medium H,L,C 100
Okinawa Early June White Free Soft H,R 100
Flordabelle Late May Yellow Free Firm H,L,C 150
Flordawon Late April Yellow Free Medium H,L 150
McRed Mid-May Yellow Cling Medium H,L,C 200
Flordasun Late April Yellow Semi-free Medium H,L 300
Sunred Nectarine Mid-May Yellow Semi-free Firm H,L,C 250
White Knight Late April White Cling Soft H,L 300
Jewel Late May White Free Soft H,L 300
Flordagold Mid-May Yellow Semi-free Firm H,L,C 300
Desertgold Early May Yellow Cling Medium H,L,C 350
Early Amber Early May Yellow Cling Medium H,L,C 350
Tejon Early May Yellow Cling Medium H,L 400'
Flordahome Late May to White Free Soft H 400
Early June
Sunlite Nect. Late May Yellow Free Medium H,L,C 450
Rio Grande Early June Yellow Free Firm H,L,C 450
Rochon Early May Yellow Cling Medium H,L 450
Bonita Mid to Late Yellow Free Medium H,L 500
Sunrich Nect. Mid-June Yellow Free Medium H,L,C 550
Flordaqueen Early June Yellow Semi-free Medium H,L 550
Earligold Early to Yellow Cling Medium H,L 550
Sungold Nect. Mid-June Yellow Semi-free Firm H,L,C 550
Springtime Early May Yellow Cling Medium H,L 650
Armgold Mid-May Yellow Cling Medium H,L,C 650
June Gold Mid to Yellow Cling Firm H,L,C 650
Late May
Maygold Late May Yellow Cling Firm H,L,C 650
Suwannee Mid-June Yellow Free Firm H,L,C 650
Springcrest Mid-May Yellow Cling Firm H,L,C 700
Sunhigh Late June Yellow Free Firm H,L 750
Bonanza (dwarf) Early June Yellow Free Medium H 650

*Ripening periods vary considerably with season. Dates given are considered normal
for the areas where the varieties are best adapted.
**Home=Home; L=Local; C=Commercial; R=Rootstock. For commercial use,
emphasis is on ripening with or before Maygold and ahead of principal producing
areas in Georgia. Home and local use varieties are soft fleshed or too late ripening
for the early market.

Flordasun-Adapted to central Florida with about 300 hour chilling
requirement. Normally first ripe April 20 to 25. Yellow fleshed with light
to medium skin blush. Clings until soft ripe. Size 13/, to 2 inches with
proper culture and thinning. Flesh medium firm and ripens evenly at tip
and suture. Ships better than Tejon or Flordawon but still is not very
acceptable in northern markets. Good for local customer picking use.
Full bloom dates in central Florida are February 6 to 11, with much less
risk of spring frost damage than for Flordawon which blooms 11 to 20
days earlier. Released in 1964 by Florida Agricultural Experiment Sta-
Early Amber-Adapted to central Florida, requiring about 350 hours

chilling. First ripe May 1 to 10. Yellow fleshed with blush covering most
of surface and quite pubescent. Clingstone. Can be readily sized to 17/8
and possibly 2 inches under good culture. Fairly firm flesh. Principal
commercial peach in central Florida. Plant Patent 2458.
Sunred-This is a nectarine with chilling requirement of about 250
hours. It is suggested for the season of shipment with or after the
Early Amber peach in central to north central Florida. First ripe May
5 to 10 Yellow fleshed with nearly solid red skin blush. Firm, excellent
flavor, semi-freestone. Most of fruit should size over 13/4 inches in di-
ameter with few 2 inches. Culture similar to that of peach except more
care needed to protect fruit from insect and disease injury. Released in
1964 by Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (5).
Sunlite-A nectarine adapted to north-central Florida, requiring about
450 hrs. of chilling. Fruit ripens from May 25 to June 13. Yellow-fleshed,
freestone fruit, good shape with fruit of medium small size. Fruit is
attractive with firmness medium. Flavor and texture are good. Released
in 1975 by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (8).
Sunrich-A nectarine for north Florida requiring about 550 hrs. of
chilling. Harvest dates range from May 31 to June 28, usually around

o 9

Fig. 3-Generalized map showing chilling hours below 45 degrees received to February 10 in 75
percent of the winters.

mid-June. Fruit size is medium, shape is round and flesh is yellow. Fruit
in the edible stage is freestone. Fruit quality is excellent. Released in
1971 by Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (10).
Sungold-A nectarine for north Florida with about 550 hrs. of chill-
ing. Harvest from June 9 to June 29, usually around mid-June. Yellow
fleshed with semi-freestone and firm flesh make this a good commercial
nectarine. The fruit is almost round with bright red color and excellent
flavor. Released in 1969 by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
June Gold-Principal variety grown in north Florida, requiring about
650 hours chilling. First ripe mid to late May. Yellow fleshed, clingstone,
good blush color. Subject to pit breakage in which small pieces of pit
cling to flesh. Good appearance, fair shape, quite firm. Good size for such
an early peach, many over 2" under good culture. Plant Patent 1884.
Maygold-Peach with chilling requirement of 600 hours. First ripe
late May. Yellow fleshed, clingstone, with good blush color. Quite firm,
ships well. Some 13/4" fruit shipped but most 17/8" to many over 2" in
good seasons. Usually productive, except in years of marginal chilling.
U. S. Department of Agriculture selection (J. H. Weinberger) released
in 1953.
Suwannee-Peach with chilling requirement of 650 hours. First ripe
about June 10. Yellow fleshed, with good blush color. First good quality,
freestone type for the area. Good size and shape. Introduced in 1962 by
U. S. Department of Agriculture (J. H. Weinberger and V. E. Prince).
Other New Varieties which may be of commercial interest are Flor-
dared (7), Flordabelle (6), Rio Grande, Desertgold, McRed, Springcrest
and Armgold (See Table 2).

Chilling Requirements
of Varieties
Depending upon the variety,
varying amounts of winter chilling
are necessary to provide good dor-
mancy break and heavy fruit set.
Chilling should be accumulated by
the end of January in central Flor-
ida and by February 10 in north
Florida with flowering and leafing
20 to 30 days later in a normal
season. Extreme south Florida re-
ceives less than 100 hours (below
450F) and north Florida over 600
hours (1). It is recommended that
varieties be chosen which would
receive their chilling requirement
in at least 75% of the winters.
Thus, by consulting the chilling re-
quirement of the variety (Table 2)
and the map (Fig. 3), a proper

choice of varieties can be made.
Insufficient chilling results in
light to no cropping, irregular
fruit development, and late and
sometimes inadequate leafing, fol-
lowed-in severe cases-by sun-
scald and damage to the main
framework. Although choice of
varieties requiring more chilling
than the average for an area may
result in late bloom and reduced
spring frost hazard, fruit set is
unsatisfactory in seasons with in-
adequate winter chilling. Excess
chilling for the variety is also un-
desirable. Varieties with low chill-
ing requirements such as Florda-
sun, bloom too early in northern
Florida and fruit is generally lost
to spring frosts.
It should be recognized that
chilling effectiveness is not entire-

ly measured by hours below 450F.
Temperatures in the range of 450
to 550 also have considerable bene-
fit with some studies (3) showing
that for such low-chilling varieties
as Okinawa or Flordawon, 550F
is fully as effective as 450F in in-
ducing dormancy break. Tempera-

tures above 700 during the chilling
period appear to be detrimental.
Thus, a winter marked by consid-
erable cloudy weather usually is
followed by better dormancy break
than one with an equal accumula-
tion of 450 hours that is marked
by generally dry, sunny conditions.

(In collaboration with J. E. Brodgon and R. S. Mullin)

See latest recommendation from
the Cooperative Extension Service
for control of the most important
insects and diseases on commercial
bearing peaches in Florida.
Dooryard trees will generally re-
quire some spraying to produce
satisfactory fruit. In southern
Florida, the Caribbean fruit fly has
become a serious pest of peach
and no practical control is now
available. In central and northern
Florida where native plums are
common, sprays for curculio are
required. Most common diseases
are scab and brown rot. See text
for discussion of individual pest
To control curculio and stink
bugs in dooryard trees use a mix-
ture of Malathion plus Sevin or
Methoxychlor. To make these
sprays mix 4 tablespoons of 25%
Malathion wettable powder or 2
teaspoons of 57% Malathion liquid
concentrate per gallon. Then add
3 tablespoons of 50% Methoxy-
chlor wettable powder or 2 table-
spoons of 501; Sevin wettable
powder. For disease control add 5
tablespoons of wettable sulfur
(80%) or 2 tablespoons of 50%
Captan wettable powder or 1 table-
spoon of Benlate wettable powder
per gallon. Do not apply Malathion
within 7 days or Sevin within 1
day or Methoxychlor within 21
days of harvest.

Apply the Petal-Fall spray after
all petals are off and before fruits
are showing using a combination
spray discussed above. Follow with
3 additional sprays at 7 to 10 day
intervals. Two weeks before har-
vest and one week before harvest,
apply a spray containing Malathion
plus Sevin plus Captan or Benlate.
In southern Florida see notes under
Curculio and Caribbean fruit fly.
The summer sprays for rust may
be needed if defoliation occurs be-
fore October but usually isolated
trees can be kept in good condition
by proper culture and fertilization.

White peach scale can cause
much tree damage if allowed to be-
come established. Check carefully
and spray infected orchards with
3% oil twice in the dormant sea-
son. Dormant sprays may not be
necessary if insecticides are prop-
erly timed during the spring and
summer. In problem orchards,
diazinon, ethion or other materials
at the rate recommended for scale
on the label should be used at times
of major crawler activity. This is
generally Mid-April, Mid-June and
late August. Best timing is reg-
ularly announced by Extension
personnel as it varies somewhat by
seasons (Fig. 4).
Curculio appears not to be a
problem at present in southern

Fig. 4- White peach scale on peach. Fig. 5-Plum curculio is making cresent-shaped
cuts on fruit where eggs are laid.

Fig. 6--Peaches gnarled as a result of egg laying and feeding punctures of the plum curculio.


Florida but is the most serious
pest of peaches in central and
northern Florida where wild plums
are common.
At Gainesville, major egg-laying
periods on fruit have ranged be-
tween March 8 and April 10. Egg-
laying activity appears to be timed
with the shucksplit (usually 15 to
20 days after full bloom) stage in
wild plums. Sprays applied during
the middle to end of March are
generally effective but should be
modified with seasonal differences.
Egg-laying is prolonged through
the month of March if cool weath-
er persists and an additional spray
may be needed.
Stink bugs are sucking insects
which cause "catfacing" or "dim-
pling" of fruits from early season
feeding and gumming later in the
season. They also increase brown
rot damage. Sprays may be needed
prior to first cover on early flower-
ing varieties. Use insecticides at
rates used for curculio. Where cul-
tural conditions permit, some re-
duction in populations is reported
by eliminating covers, such as
peas, beans, crotalaria, beggar-
weed and citrons.
Caribbean Fruit Fly has become
widespread in southern Florida.
Peaches are a favorite host. Nor-
mally detected by the presence of
a small white worm in the fruit.
At present, there is no practical
Borers are a problem throughout
central and northern Florida. Un-
controlled populations ruin trees
by severe girdling of branches or
at the soil line. Lesser borers at-
tack the tree framework at inju-
ries or at large pruning cuts and
are becoming more important in
Florida. The lesser borer lays eggs
earlier in the season and requires
sprays as soon as possible after

fruit harvest. Thiodan is common-
ly used for borer control. Borers
in dooryard trees can be removed
by hand digging under gum spots
in late summer and fall. The im-
mature insect is a small white
grub. There are at least two gen-
erations of the peach borer and
lesser borer in Florida.

Scab affects peaches in all areas
of the state causing small brown
spots on skin of fruit. Sulfur
sprays in the period four to six
weeks after full bloom are essen-
tial for control. The earliest varie-
ties ripen before spotting is too
Bacterial spot is serious on May-
gold in the Quincy area in some
years, and is not effectively con-
trolled by sprays. It has not yet
become serious in central Florida
areas and resistance or suscepti-
bility of varieties grown in these
areas is not known. Trees with
good fertilization are less suscep-
tible than under-fertilized ones.
Peach leaf curl has been of
minor importance. In central Flor-
ida, unsprayed trees have shown
little or no infection.
Brown rot has not been a very
serious problem on early peaches
in central Florida, so far, probably
due to the characteristically dry
weather in April and May. It can
be quite serious in northern Flor-
ida in wet springs, particularly on
the very earliest varieties like
Springtime or on the late ripening
varieties grown for local use.
Rust can be one of the more
serious diseases in central Florida.
Severe defoliation has occurred by
mid-summer in some instances and
undoubtedly weakens the trees.
In northern Florida, infection usu-
ally does not appear until late sum-



Fig. 7-Peach tree attacked at the base by the peach tree borer.
Fig. 8-Ripe peach showing the effect of attack by leaf-footed bugs several months before.

W1 "I


Fig. 9-Scab spots on peaches, chowing the cracking that often develops when the spots are
Fig. 10-Peaches covered with spores of the rot fungus. The infection spreads to the twig from the
blighted blossom still attached to it, and to the fruit from the twig.


'^iS 'it$^^S5lfi

mer or fall as it does in Georgia
and South Carolina where the dis-
ease is considered of minor impor-
tance. Sprays of zinc sulfate-lime,
4-4-100 for control of zinc deficien-
cy helps to control rust. Sulfur has
some control value. If desired,
Zineb may be used at 2 lbs. per
100 gallons.
Mushroom root rot is a fungus
disease often present in newly
cleared oak land. There is no prac-
tical control, other than planting
on sites relatively free of decaying
oak roots. Peach trees wilt sud-
denly, usually starting about their
third year in the orchard. Cutting
through the bark at and just below
the ground line discloses a thin
white fungus growth between the
bark and wood. This white growth
may be visible on only one side of

the tree or may completely encir-
cle the tree.
Viruses are numerous in all es-
tablished peach growing regions.
These are introduced in nursery
stock, in infected budwood, or
through wild hosts. Phony virus
(4) is found in wild plum trees in
Florida but causes no observable
damage to plums. When transmit-
ted to the peach by leafhoppers, it
causes tree dwarfiing, distorted
fruit, and poor fruit production.
Before planting peaches, remove
or kill all wild plums within one
quarter mile of the orchard where
possible. Spray with 2, 4, 5-T or
Ammate in the spring after leaf-
ing out to kill wild plums. Examine
orchards for dwarfed trees in early
summer and remove them prompt-
ly to avoid spread.

1. Butson, K. D. and J. F. Gerber. 1964. Temperature Hazards to Peaches in
Florida. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 77:395-401.
2. Gammon, Nathan C. and J. S. Shoemaker. 1964. Effect of Nursery Stock Size
on Peach Yields. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 77:384-387.
3. Gurdian, R. J. and R. H. Biggs. 1964. Effect of Low Temperatures on Term-
inating Bud Dormancy of 'Okinawa', 'Flordawon', 'Flordahome' and 'Nema-
guard' Peaches. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 77:370-379.
4. Seymour, C. P. 1964. Testing for Phony Peach Disease. Fla. Dept. Agr. Div.
of Plant Ind. Plant Pathology Circular 25.
5. Sharpe, R. H. 1964. Sunred-A Nectarine for Central Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp.
Sta., Circular S-158.
6. Sharpe, R. H. 1970. Flordabelle-A Peach for Central Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp.
Sta., Circular S-203.
7. Sharpe, R. H. 1970. Flordared Peach. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta., Circular S-204.
8. Sharpe, R. H. and W. B. Sherman. 1975. 'Sunlite' Nectarine. Fla. Agr. Exp.
Sta., Circular S-232.
9 Young, H. W. and R. H. Sharpe. 1969. Sungold-A Nectarine for North Flor-
ida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta., Circular S-200.
10. Young, H. W. and R. H. Sharpe. 1971. Sunrich-A New Nectarine for North
Florida. Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta., Circular S-213.

Single copies are free to residents of Florida and may be obtained
from the County Extension Office. Bulk rates are available upon re-
quest. Please submit details of the request to C. M. Hinton, Publica-
tion Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida 32611.

This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of $420.03
or 81/2 cents per copy to inform Florida peach and nectarine growers.

(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida and United States
Department of Agriculture, Cooperating, John T. Woeste, Dean

MAR 9 1978

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