Dave Wilson Ripening chart accuracy

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I very often refer to the Dave Wilson Fruit and Nut ripening chart and find it very informative, especially since it includes a lot of varieties in the one chart. But I have found that in my Orchard here in TN things often ripen out of order. That leaves me wondering, of course, if it means the varieties I think I have are not what they are supposed to be (I have several mislabeled trees for sure).

So I’m curious, do you all you find the Dave Wilson Chart to be very accurate, or do things ripen in different order in different parts of the country? To be clear, I fully understand that my fruit is not going to ripen the same week or even month as trees at the Dave Wilson Orchard in California. But I always thought they would ripen in the correct order. One example is that my Methley plums actually ripened AFTER my Santa Rosa, which is certainly not the order in the chart. My Methley DID bloom much earlier-in fact it was my first blooming tree- so that fits and makes me think it is a Methley (and looks right, etc) and my Santa Rosa fruit looked right and ripened the same time other things did that are supposed to be in the same time slot. Don’t focus comments too much on those 2, because I have several other trees that don’t ripen in the order shown on the chart.

So…do you all have similar experiences or does your ripening order exactly match the Dave Wilson Chart? Thanks


Mine doesn’t exactly match but is usually close. In my greenhouse if I don’t heat at night in spring I’m usually 10-14 days ahead of the Fresno chart. This yr heating at night to make the figs happy I’m even more ahead. Outdoors I’m about the same or slightly later. But am frozen out so often I’m not that certain.

I’d say the differences at your place are more likely about chilling and heat units and their affect on various fruit than mislabeled trees.

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I look over charts like these from time to time but I also see some ripening times that just don’t look correct. Knowing that there are discrepancies I put more competence in publications that are from nearby universities such as Georgia and Auburn. I also have a high degree of confidence in what our fellow forum members report.

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We use the chart quite a bit to predict when new types may ripen. We are usually +14=+20 days ahead of the central valley where that is based off of. Its most useful when investigating holes in a ripening schedule that you might want to fill. Like for instance we have a hole between Eva’s Pride and Bonita that Santa Barbra and Saturn arent working out to fill. So we look around at other types that ripen in that gap and make selections from it. So yes its useful to us.


Exactly. It says so right on the chart!

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I understand they are in central valley, CA and I’ve seen the notes on the chart. So I completely understand that their calendar dates of ripening will differ a lot from mine. My thing is I’m finding cases where the ORDER of ripening doesn’t match, and that surprised me so I wondered if anyone else had experienced that. If not, then I may just have a few more mislabeled trees.

I did have one case where my experience was way different than the chart. They say Flavor Royale pluot ripens before Flavor Supreme. I found it just the opposite and not by a few days. More like several weeks.

But I still feel that the longer winter and higher chilling in TN could throw trees out of order compared to CA. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your trees are mislabeled.


Very true, and there’s plenty of environmental reasons that can and will happen.


Or put another way, heat islands and cold draining, as well as irrigation and uneven fertilization can adequately explain small sample sizes, and the charts aren’t known to be consistently inaccurate, but may not be extremely precise.

I would imagine the chill hours play a huge part in ripening order.

Imagine a place where Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter aren’t as well defined as they are in your location. Hickman is such a place.

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Also note that in much of the U.S. west of the Rockies, the most relevant chill hour model is the simplified Utah model: Nov.1 to Jan.1, number of hours below 45F minus the number of hours above 65F. You might never see those high temperatures in your Fall, but they do happen out west.

It is still way far away from Tennessee, but Grandpa’s Orchard has similar charts. Though I assume not for the range of interspecific Prunus spp hybrids that Dave Wilson sells.

I think we are about 2 weeks ahead of the dates in the Grandpa’s charts here in SE Iowa as I just saw a local orchard/CSA was picking Pristine. And my first Zestar! fell off overnight. I think it was a push-off since they have short stems.

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My few loring peaches ripened up within a week of their chart

I’ve been looking at the chart to find a nectarine that ripens after the apricots are gone

I’m sure many of us have counted on its accuracy

Adams County Nursery has a nice ripening chart that is probably more accurate for those of us on the east coast.


I’ve bookmarked that chart - it’s easier to read than the DW

Also a lot of different varieties, many I’m not familiar with - lots of new Har-series apricots

I plotted it out on a large format printer and hung it in my garage. Take advantage of my employers resources. Lol

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Dave, that’s one of the best links that I’ve been given in a long time! I’m very excited to go back and look at that in more detail. What is funny about it is that I’ve been to the ACN site many times, but somehow missed their chart. As you or someone said above, even though I’m not all that close to PA, I suspect their dates will be much closer to my own since we are both in the “east”. Thanks again buddy.

Glad it helped! I’m only about 2-3 hours from Adams and in the same USDA zone so it should be pretty accurate for my area. Only issue is that it is missing several varieties that are of interest to me so there is some guess work involved.