De Jong, Theodore M. Pomology Department, University of California, Davis, California.
Dunegan, John C. Agricultural Consultant, Sarasota, Florida.
Last reviewed:August 2019
- Propagation and cultivation
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A deciduous fruit tree species, Prunus persica, of the order Rosales that originated and was first cultivated in western China. The peach (see illustration) is adapted to relatively moderate climates in the temperate zone. Although most peach cultivars (cultivated varieties) require a substantial amount of winter chilling [temperatures of 0–7°C (32–45°F)] to ensure adequate breaking of winter dormancy and uniform budbreak (initiation of growth from a bud), peach wood is susceptible to winter injury at temperatures below −26°C (−15°F) and dormant fruit buds are injured by temperatures below −18°C (0°F). Consequently, commercial cultivation is limited to lower latitudes in the temperate zone or to higher latitudes where large bodies of water have a moderating influence on the climate. The principal peach-growing areas in North America, ranked in order of commercial production, are central California, Georgia and the Carolinas, the mid-Atlantic region, the Great Lakes region, and the Pacific northwestern region. Other important peach-growing regions in the world include Italy, southern France, Spain, Japan, China, Argentina, southern Brazil, Chile, South Africa, and southeastern Australia. See also: Cold hardiness (plant); Dormancy; Fruit; Fruit, tree; Horticultural crops; Rosales
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