Summer Pruning in Low-Chill Peaches Grown in Florida

A finished example of summer-pruned peach tree ‘Tropicbeauty’ grown in Citra. Credits: D. Huff, UF/IFAS

Low-chill peach trees growing under Florida conditions can become vigorous and large. Summer pruning is a management strategy that can be applied to help restructure the canopy, direct the tree’s resources into fruit production, and improve the efficiency of fieldwork. Without summer pruning, peach orchards in subtropical regions will continue to grow vigorously and, if left unmanaged, will reach a point at which ladders will be required to harvest and maintain the trees. Summer pruning can be a means of reducing overall tree size, redistributing fruiting wood for easier harvesting, reducing disease pressure, and increasing fruit quality. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, written by Ali Sarkhosh, Dustin Huff, Trequan McGee, and Juanita Popenoe, provides an illustrated step-by-step guide to summer pruning of peach trees.

Oportunidades alternativas para fincas pequeñas: Producción de durazno y nectarinas versión revisada

‘UFSun’ durazno. Credits: A. Sarkhosh, UF/IFAS

El suave clima invernal de Florida y el comienzo de la temprano de primavera ofrecen oportunidades únicas para la producción de duraznos y nectarinas de temporada temprana. Durante los últimos 12 años, la Universidad de Florida ha lanzado muchos cultivares nuevos de durazno y nectarina. Estos nuevos y mejorados cultivares han aumentado el potencial de expansión del aspecto comercial de melocotones y nectarinas en gran parte de la península de Florida y en las regiones de la Costa del Golfo del sureste de los Estados Unidos.
This new 5-page article is the Spanish translation of RFAC018, Alternative Opportunities for Small Farms: Peach and Nectarine Production Review. Written by Ali Sarkhosh, Mercy Olmstead, Jeff Williamson, Jose Chaparro, and Juanita Popenoe, translated by Eva Pabon, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Peach Root-knot Nematode

One of the production issues that peach growers in Florida must contend with is plant-parasitic nematodes. One such species is the more recently discovered peach root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne floridensis, which is the subject of this 5-page publication. Written by Mary Ann D. Maquilan, Ali Sarkhosh, and Donald Dickson and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, July 2018.

Irrigation Practices for Peaches in Florida

This 6-page document provides basic information and guidelines on water requirements and irrigation strategies for peaches grown in Florida. Written by C. Zambrano-Vaca, L. Zotarelli, K. Migliaccio, R. Beeson Jr., K. Morgan, J. Chaparro, and M. Olmstead and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, April 2018.

Establishment and Production Costs for Peach Orchards in Florida: Enterprise Budget and Profitability Analysis


While the Florida peach industry is small, it has experienced significant growth in recent years. This 20-page article written by Ariel Singerman, Marina Burani-Arouca, and Mercy Olmstead and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department summarizes the establishment and production costs as well as the potential profitability of a peach orchard in Florida. It includes an enterprise budget, estimates of potential revenue and undiscounted cash flows for different combinations of prices and yields, and an investment analysis. The information in this article should be relevant to both current and potential Florida peach growers.

Frost Protection Irrigation for Florida Peaches: Economic Considerations

Peach production in Florida is increasing in importance, and the peach industry is growing rapidly in the state, where the early harvest and early market window allow the prices for Florida peaches to be high compared to those received by producers in the other southeastern states. Reduction in peach production costs would allow Florida peach producers to increase their net revenues. This 7-page fact sheet describes a strategy for limiting water use for frost protection of peach trees in the winter to reduce producers’ costs, protect lakes and streams, and reinforce the public image of farmers as innovators and environmental stewards. Written by Tori Bradley, Tatiana Borisova, and Mercy Olmstead and published by the Food and Resource Economics Department.

Growing Plums in Florida

Figure 9. ‘Gulfruby’ fruit. Credits: P. Miller, UF/IFAS
Plums could be a potential crop for growers and homeowners in Florida and other mild winter areas throughout the Gulf coast, but many plum varieties will not grow well enough in Florida to produce fruit. In response to this need, the University of Florida has developed cultivars that improve the potential for growing plums in Florida. This twelve-page fact sheet provides information for growing plums in Florida including information about chilling hours, pollination and fruit set, fruit harvesting, yields, as well as information about the plum cultivars adapted to grow in Florida. Written by M. Olmstead, E.P. Miller, P.C. Andersen, and J.G. Williamson, and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.

Florida Subtropical Peaches: Production Practices

Figure 6. Weed control within the tree row. Subtropical peach production includes many practices, such as site selection, orchard design, and disease, weed, and insect management through to harvest. Florida’s subtropical climate allows growers to harvest their crops early, but it creates challenges for the long postharvest growing season. This 14-page fact sheet covers the breadth of topics related to subtropical peach production, including a monthly timeline of recommended practices. Written by M. Olmstead, J. Chaparro, J. G. Williamson, R. Rouse, R. Mizell, P. Harmon, and J. Ferguson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, August 2013.

Orchard Establishment Budget for Peaches and Nectarines in Florida

A peach orchard at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Live Oak. Stonefruit, peaches, orchards. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.Stone fruit production in Florida, specifically peaches (Prunus persica L.), has increased in acreage since the mid-2000s, predominantly driven by the desire to diversify agricultural operations. Although the National Agriculture Statistics Service does not keep annual production and acreage statistics for peaches because of the industry’s small size, a recent poll revealed just over 670 acres in Florida, with about 700 unreported acres (Table 1) (Morgan and Olmstead 2013). Statewide, current estimates of harvested peaches are approximately 4.5 million pounds, with a value of more than $6 million. Florida growers can take advantage of an early market window in which they produce the first domestic peach of the calendar year, commanding a high price per pound. The future of peach production in the state is very positive, and many growers continue to plant new orchards. This 12-page fact sheet was written by Mercy Olmstead and Kim Morgan, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, July 2013.

Florida Peach and Nectarine Varieties

Figure 6. ‘Gulfking'The University of Florida has developed high-quality, low-chilling, early-maturing peach and nectarine cultivars that can be grown from the panhandle of Florida to as far south as Immokalee. Low-chilling cultivars can grow and produce fruit under Florida conditions that are much warmer in winter than in northern states. Furthermore, ripening of these cultivars during April and May ensures an early spring market window for tree-ripe fresh fruit in Florida before peaches and nectarines from other southeastern states and California come to market. Both commercial and dooryard recommended varieties span the growing season. This 8-page fact sheet was written by Mercy Olmstead, Jose Chaparro, Pete Andersen, Jeff Williamson, and James Ferguson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, May 2013.

Rootstocks for Florida Stone Fruit (HS1110/HS366)

Figure 2. Budded peach tree with red-leaved 'Flordaguard' rootstock suckersRootstocks have been used in many tree fruit systems to provide growth advantages or pest or disease resistance without affecting productivity and fruit quality. In Florida, stone fruit are grown on rootstocks that specifically provide pest resistance to the peach root-knot nematode. Although several root-knot nematode-resistant rootstocks are available for stone fruit grown in other locations and climates, ‘Flordaguard’ peach rootstock is currently recommended for stone fruit production in Florida. This 5-page fact sheet was written by M. Olmstead, J. Chaparro, and J. Ferguson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, November 2012.

Weed Management in Peach (HS93/WG020)

Figure 1. Weed-free strip under peach trees and grass strips between rowsProper weed management is important for a healthy peach orchard. Peach trees and weeds compete for water, nutrients, and light. And they serve as hosts for insects that cause catfacing and nematodes that carry viral diseases. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Peter J. Dittmar and Jeffrey G. Williamson, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, January 2012.

Alternative Opportunities for Small Farms: Peach and Nectarine Production Review (RFAC018/AC018)

PeachFlorida produces some of the earliest commercial-quality peaches and nectarines in North America. During the last 10 years, many new, improved peach and nectarine cultivars have been released by the University of Florida. They have increased the potential for expansion of commercial peach and nectarine acreage throughout much of the Florida peninsula and along the Gulf Coast regions of the southeastern United States. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Mercy Olmstead, Jeff Williamson, Jose Chaparro, and Tim Crocker, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, September 2011.