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Staggering Chill Hours Peaches?

Ike Stewart
7 years ago

I have started replanting Peach trees this year as all the old ones have reached the age where they no longer produce peaches and are dying. I plan to phase this in over the next few years, with 6 or so peach trees total (large back yard). I live in western Louisiana at the southern edge of zone 8b. The issue is that our local chill hours vary considerably as we often get a lot of hours between 32-45 degrees in the winters. Even though the chill zone hours map shows us in the 500-600 hour based on reviewing the online data from the local (now closed as of about 2011) agricultural station, shows a range of 600 - 1200+ chill hours between Nov-March the last 5 years they were open .

This year I planted 2 new peach trees, an La Feliciana
peach requiring 500-600 chill hours depending on the information source, and a Harvester Peach requiring 750 Chill hours. With our very warm winter this year the La Feliciana has bloomed and is setting fruit, and the Harvester is in sporadic bloom as to be expected not reaching chill requirement.

I plan to plant 1 or 2 peach trees per year for the next few years to stagger their ages, and would like suggestions on heat tolerant varieties to compliment what I have already planted, while continuing to bracket our wild swings in chill hours.

thanks Ike.

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