Physical disorders are not caused by insects or diseases but rather by environmental factors. Examples include: split and shattered pits, double fruit, cleft sutures, button fruit, blind wood, delayed foliation, and excessive red flesh. The instance and severity of these conditions can be affected by management practices and this article suggests possible management strategies to lessen the severity of these problems in the orchard.
This study examines temperature data and peach tree bloom data at 7 sites in Texas (4 in the high-chill region, 2 in the medium-chill region, and 1 in the low-chill region) over a 32 year period. Relative freeze frequency, number of frosts per year, and length of frost periods for each region are compared.
The most commonly available peach rootstocks available in the U.S. are discussed with respect to: resistance to rootknot nematodes, tolerance to calcareous soils, tolerance to wet soils, cold hardiness, and susceptibility to peach tree short life (PTSL) associated with the ring nematode.
Stone fruit trees require sufficient winter chill-accumulation in order to break dormancy properly. Insufficient chill-accumulation causes weak and delayed bloom and foliation, as well as decreased fruit set and quality. These problems are discussed and different methods of estimating chill accumulation are compared.
Topworking is the practice of grafting entire trees over to another variety. This can be useful to replace entire blocks of trees with a more productive variety, or for changing individual ‘off-trees’ within a variety block. Topworking can also be a quick way of testing new varieties because the grafted trees come into production sooner than a nursery tree. Growers are encouraged to establish and maintain testing blocks in their orchards.