Stone Fruit Production
To insure successful production of fruits, nuts, grapes, and berries it is essential that proper varieties be selected. The varieties listed on this site are well suited to our particular conditions. It is quite possible that some varieties not listed may perform well in certain locations.
Annual pruning is important to help regulate crop load and fruit size on most tree and vine varieties. Despite this, apples, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums often set too much fruit. Thin 1/3 to 2/3 of the fruit when it is ½ to 1 inch in diameter to obtain desirable fruit size and to prevent limb breakage. Remove excess fruit by hand pulling. Space remaining fruit 4 to 8 inches apart.
Cross pollination is required on several varieties and at least two different varieties are required in these circumstances. If no pollination comments are made, assume a single tree will be fruitful.
Apricots, Fruit & Nut Research & Information Center
- Recommended varieties when planting at elevations between 300 and 1500 feet only in areas of minimum frost.
- Royal (Blenheim), Modesto, Royalty, Harcot,
Tilton, Perfection, Patterson, Moorpark, Golden Glo,
and Golden Amber
- Royal (Blenheim), Modesto, Royalty, Harcot,
Cherries, Fruit & Nut Research & Information Center
- Plant two varieties for cross-pollination. (Royal Ann or Napolean, Bing, and Lambert will not pollinate each other.)
- Recommended varieties when planting at elevations between 300 and 1500 feet.
- For sweet dark flesh: Burlat, Early Burlat, Craig’s Cromson (self-fruitful), Lapins (self-fruitful), Utah Giant, Glacier, Bing, Berryessa, Hardy Giant, Sunset, and Van.
- For Sweet white flesh: Ranier and Royal Ann. For sour: Montmorency, Meteor, North Star, and Early Richmond.
- Recommended rootstocks
- Mazzard, Colt, GMG1, Biselo 5 and 6, and Mahaleb.
- For elevations higher than 2000 feet plant only on hilltops above 2,000 feet to avoid frost and bacterial canker infections.
Peaches & Nectarines, Fruit & Nut Research & Information Center
- All peach trees need a good dormant spray for leaf curl disease and they may need sprays for worms during the Summer.
- Recommended varieties when planting at elevations between 300 and 1500 feet:
- Yellow freestone: Autumn Gold, Gold Dust, Flamecrest, Elberta, Suncrest, Fortyniner, Fay Elberta, Halberta, Hale Haven, Indian Free (peach leaf curl resistant), J.H. Hale, July Elberta, O’Henry, Nectar, Ranger, Red Globe, Redskin, Reliance, Rio Oso Gem, and Fairtime.
- White freestone: Nectar, Babcock, Donut, and Arctic Supreme.
- Yellow clingstone: Loadel, Andross, Indian Blood Cling, Orange Cling, and Halford.
Plums, Fruit & Nut Research & Information Center
- Japanese plums bloom earlier than European plums; they, therefore are more susceptible to frost injury. Use Santa Rosa, Laroda, or Wickson as the pollinizer for all Japanese plums. In many locations, plum trees die from bacterial canker. Trees on peach rootstock tolerate bacterial canker better than plum rootstock. However, on heavy clay soils plum rootstock is preferred over peach.
- Recommended Japanese varieties when planting at elevations between 300 and 1500 feet:
- Redskin with amber flesh- Autumn Rosa, Beauty, Black Amber, Burbank, Santa Rosa, El Dorado, Laroda, Nubiana, and Friar. Red skin and flesh- Satsuma, Elephant Heart, and Mariposa. Yellow-Wickson, and Kelsey.
- Recommended European varieties when planting at elevations between 200 and 1500 feet:
- Sugar, Green Gage, French Prune, Imperial, Express, Brooks, and President.
- Recommended varieties when planting at elevations between 1500 and 3500 feet:
- Stanley, Blue Damson, Sprite Cherry Plum, and Delight Cherry Plum as these are extremely cold hardy.
Stone Fruit Propagation, Fruit & Nut Research & Information Center
Thinning Stone Fruit
- Chemical Thinning of Stone Fruits Grown in the Sierra Foothills, Summary of a chemical thinning research report, Lynn Wunderlich, Farm Advisor, UCCE Central Sierra; Cooperator: Scott Johnson, UC Pomology Specialist, Kearney Agriculture Center.
- CTFA Final Report 2002, Chemical Thinning Report, Lynn Wunderlich, Farm Advisor, UCCE Central Sierra; Cooperator: Scott Johnson, UC Pomology Specialist, Kearney Agriculture Center.
University of California's official guidelines for pest monitoring techniques, pesticides, and nonpesticide alternatives for managing pests in agriculture.
- Bird Pest Management of Fruit Grown in the Foothills, Lynn Wunderlich, Farm Advisor, UCCE Central Sierra.
Monitoring and controlling strategies for fruit growers of the foothills.
- IPM Pest Management Guidelines for Agricultural Crops, Information about managing pests, including University of California's official guidelines for monitoring pests and using pesticides and nonpesticide alternatives for managing insect, mite, nematode, weed, and disease pests.
- Special Spotted Wing Drosophila Update, Lynn Wunderlich, Farm Advisor, UCCE Central Sierra. Foothill Farm and Orchard News.
University of California Website Resources
- Current Cost and Return Studies, UC Davis
- Fruit & Nut Research, UC Davis
- Growing Processing Cling Peaches in California: An Overview, Everything you need to know about the basics of processing cling peaches in California. UC ANR Publication 8276
- Growing Processing Freestone Peaches in California: An Overview, California is one of the biggest producers of processing freestone peaches in the world. This little publication gives practical advice on what you need to know (and who you need to ask) before you decide to start your own processing peach orchard. UC ANR Publication 8358
- Tree Biology and Orchard Management, Fruit & Nut Research & Information Center
- UC Fruit Report, Useful horticultural information about establishing and managing fresh market peach, plum and nectarine orchards.