Low-chill peaches adapted to subtropical florida and tropical puerto rico

Robert E. Rouse, Maria Del, Carmen Libran, Evelio Hernandez, Lilliam Cardona

Abstract


Low-chill peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) cultivars adapted for subtropical climates and tropical highlands have been developed by the University of Florida deciduous fruit breeding program. Cultivars requiring approximately 100 to 150 chill units have been evaluated in south Florida and Puerto Rico. Chilling has been accomplished in Florida by changing latitude and in Puerto Rico by changing altitude. Four cultivars (Flordaprince, TropicBeauty, Flordaglo, UFGold) have been evaluated in two localities of the central mountainous region of Puerto Rico. Parameters of tree growth, flowering time and formation, fruit development, and fruit quality have been evaluated. Preliminary results show trees fruit with commercial crops maturing in April and May with fruit 5 to 8 cm diameter weighing 80 to 130 gram during an optimum market window when there are no other peaches available. Three of the four low-chill peach cultivars are adapted to climatic conditions prevailing in the central mountainous region of Puerto Rico. The recommended cultivars are high quality and suitable for commercial, u-pick, and home planting.

Keywords


Prunus persica; Tranzschelia discolor; lowchill; deciduous fruit; chilling; climate adaptation; leaf rust; Diaprepes

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283