Effective chilling temperatures for low-chill subtropical peaches

Robert E. Rouse, Wayne B. Sherman

Abstract


Low-chill peach (Prunus persica) cultivars adapted to subtropical conditions of south Florida with commercial quality have been developed and are available. These cultivars require from 100 to 200 chill units, ripen in April and May, and have fruit size greater than 2.0 to 2.5 inches in diameter. These cultivars have flowered profusely each year and fruited with acceptable crops over the past 5 years. During this period Florida has experienced some of the mildest winters of the past century. Weather records and chill unit models suggest that trees did not always experience the required chill units (hours of temperatures at or below the recognized requirement of 45 F), yet they flowered and fruited. This would suggest that temperatures of 50 to 55 F or higher are effective at satisfying the chilling requirement of these low-chill subtropical cultivars.

Keywords


prunus persica; climate adaptation; lowchill; subtropical peaches

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