Cold winter benefits Georgia's peach orchards

03/06/2014 07:43:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

peachRecord cold temperatures that hit Georgia this winter have benefited the state's peach trees, which received more than ample chill hours.

"Once warm conditions arrive for a week or so, we should have a uniform and full bloom," Phil Brannen, a University of Georgia plant pathologist, said in the release. "However, we really need it to stay warm after that, as a late freeze can really cause lots of damage if all the blooms are out at the same time or close to it."

Depending on how low temperatures drop, a cold snap during bloom could cause up to 100 percent crop loss.

Because of this year's chill hours, peach trees are expected to have a strong bloom during a short period of time.

If trees don't receive enough chill hours, bloom tends to be delayed and not uniform.

Delayed or protected bloom causes fruit to ripen at different times, making harvest more difficult.



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