Peach dormancy vs bloom time

In Georgia, USA, 7b, we had a cold snap mid March. Really bad, wind-chill -10. We usually have something but that one was bad. In general though, we usually have enough cold to kill the blooms.

Even if I got a later blooming peach, or apple for that matter, would it even matter if February was warm? When it gets warm, won’t the tree come out of dormancy no matter how late bloom time is?

If it hadn’t gotten warm in February, it wouldn’t have bloomed too early and killed the blooms.

I think all you can do is choose varieties with good cold tolerance and high chill hour requirements, like Contender. This will tilt the odds a little more in your favor. Unfortunately, freak late season cold snaps will always pose some degree of risk, although I would expect a 7b climate to be somewhat favorable to peach cultivation. I would think that apples would do quite well…


For my area in south Louisiana, that freeze was top 4 for the last 100 years or so for the lateness and severity. No way to plan on that.

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I struggle with late frosts and even freezes in my 6b orchard. Most folks near me lost all their peaches and some have abandoned fruit trees altogether. This year I added some frost water sprays and some peaches prevailed, mainly reliance and Belle of Georgia.

Yes, they all come out of dormancy early with those warm January and February days, but the peaches that bloom later are more resilient. Many have late opening flower buds and some escaped the frosts almost completely. The others have been basically a waste of space and effort. That’s where grafting hardy varieties to existing poor producers might be helpful.

At the same time, if you are in an area like mine prone to late frosts you have to accept that some harvest will be unpredictable and even the exception. I think @BlueBerry mentioned harvest about every four years on stone fruit and I tend to agree.


Is Belle of Georgia a late bloomer? I’m about done with all fruit trees, almost, they come out of dormancy too quick and blooms get killed.

If I had a variety 100000 chill hours though, when it gets warm, they will come out of dormancy won’t they? Even, if they’ve only had 250 hours, they still go out of dormancy. They’d just never have the chill hours to produce and never bloom?

Great question. It has been one of the few peaches that has consistently made it through late freezes. My response is based on experience rather than published bloom date.

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Yes. You’re just doing what you can to stack the odds in your favor…