Chill Hours

The total number of hours that a plant must be exposed to less than 45 degrees F during its dormant period in order to produce properly developed fruit.

Chill Hour Calculators:

Low Chill Help

Tree selection tool courtesy of Dave Wilson Nursery.
   Select trees based on chill hours and USDA zones.

Good tasting low chill fruit picks by Tom Spellman.

CRFG Central Coast Chapter Google Groups

About Our Google Groups

You can use this email group to:
  • Offer your extra plants (except citrus) to others within SLO County.
  • Request if anyone has a specific type of plant (except citrus) to give away from within SLO County.
Share your plants, not your pests!
Help prevent the spread of pests within our county. Here are the pests and plants that are of concern and links to learn more about them:
  1. Asian Citrus Psyllid adult and nymphs. Photo by M.E. Rogers, from CDFA Publication 8205

    ACP (Asian Citrus Psyllid) Quarantine prohibits moving citrus plants, curry plants.
    Unfortunately, ACP findings in SLO County are on the increase. See this May 11, 2018 article in the Citrus Insider: ACP Found in San Luis Obispo County.

  2. The following pests can be checked for BEFORE trading plants!

    Please carefully inspect your plant, remove any pests and only trade clean plants:

    • Photo from Wikipedia
      LBAM (Light Brown Apple Moth)
      It's not just on apple trees, it has over 250 plant hosts!
      Look for rolled leaves and remove them. The leaf rolling larva is hiding inside.

    • Adult fly. Photo from Wikipedia
      Apple Maggot
      (not the same as Coddling Moth). Remove any apples from tree before trading.
      More on the Apple Maggot.

    • Photo from Wikipedia
      Indian Walking Stick
      (all over the Coastal areas). Look for notched leaves and inspect at night! One female can lay 1000s of tiny brown eggs which blend into soil!

    • Photo from UCANR
      Bagrada Bugs
      like Cole crops (mustards...), sweet alyssum & candytuft.

    • Snails and slugs. Check under plants and pot.

    • Ants, aphids, whitefly, mealybugs & scale. Ants and black sooty mold are a sign that the plant also has sucking insects.

  3. IF you want to bring a plant in from another county, please contact the Pest Exclusion Program at San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture for requirements and inspection:
    (805) 781-5910.

This email group allows people to request scion varieties they'd like to obtain, and for others to offer these scions if they have them available. Donors and recipients can meet up at our Annual Scion Exchange meeting the third Saturday in February. Please remember: no citrus nor patented varieties!
Email group for sharing rides to CRFG Central Coast meetings and events:

How to Join the Groups

  1. Log in to your Google account.
  2. Visit the link below for the group you want to join:
    Plant Exchange Group
    Scion Exchange Group
    Rideshare Group
  3. You will see this text:
    "CRFG Central Coast (Group Name)
    You must be a member of this group to view and participate in it.
    Apply for membership or contact the owner."
  4. Click on the "Apply for membership" link.
  5. Fill out the form.

    The example below is for joining the Scion Exchange group. You'd pick your own display name when you apply. In the "additional information" box, please type in your full name. Screenshot of Google Groups Join Form with explanatory text

    Email delivery preference options:
    Screenshot of Google Groups email distribution choices

  6. Within a few days you will receive an email that you have been added to the group.
To post to the CRFG Central Coast Chapter Google groups, you will need a Google account.

Q. How do I change my display name, email address, and how frequently I get email from the group?
A. See "Change your settings and display name."

CRFG Videos

CRFG Video Gallery- new in 2017: videos that explain how-to and why-to.
Add to the collection: create your own videos and submit them to CRFG Inc.!

  Central Coast Chapter Member Videos

From Joe Sabol:

Joe Sabol holding an apple.

Cleft Grafting
Why You Should Learn to Graft
How To Taste Fruit
What's a Fruit Hunter?
Why It's Fun To Be a Fruit Hunter

Plants in the Central Coast Area

Fruiting plants that grow in the Central Coast area: our members share their first-hand experiences.

Las Pilitas Nursery, which we thoroughly enjoyed visiting during our May 2018 meeting, has a wealth of information about native plants on their website, including Incredible Edibles and Drought tolerant native plants for a San Luis Obispo area garden.


A butterfly and a bee alight on purple flowers.

At our August 11, 2018 meeting Cameron Newell gave us an overview of the Xerces Society and the work they do. He discussed the current state of pollinator and other invertebrate population health, some of the current initiatives they are implementing and how those relate to the fruit growing and agriculture industries.

Listen to Cameron's talk on YouTube: Part 1 of 3 | Part 2 of 3 | Part 3 of 3
Thank you Tom S. for recording the video.

Cameron is a Pollinator Conservation Specialist and Bee Better Certified Coordinator from Xerces Society's Southwest Regional Office in San Diego. The Xerces Society is an international nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat.


Art DeKleine explaning how to prune a young fruit tree. "Pruning 1-2 Year Old Trees and Dwarf Trees" presentation
by Art DeKleine
PDF (1.1 MB)
PPT (4 MB)

Created for the 2017 CRFG Central Coast Pruning Workshop.
The embedded video included in this presentation is "How to Prune Young Fruit Trees."

Q & A:

Q. "I am trying to figure out which peach trees to plant in my orchard. I currently have a May pride and an Elberta. I want to add two or three more peach trees but I want to pick varieties that give me the longest harvest. Do you have any suggestions on good low chill varieties that might help with this?"
A. "You are doing the right thing by planning your harvest times early. My first suggestion would be to go to the Dave Wilson site and look at the
harvest chart, it shows harvest times for a wide variety of fruit, note the late peaches, then cross reference with their low chill peach list. You could further narrow by seeing if any of the late low chill peaches are also on their top taste test winners list." Larry Hollis

Q. "I live near foothills in El Cajon, CA, suburb of San Diego. Some of my avocado trees do not have much fruit this year. Also, my Hass had a gazillion leaves and avocados, starting to drop all leaves then all fruit then slowly totally died. At that time I also had a Lamb Hass, tons of leaves, fruit, glorious, then we had temps go over 100 degrees, died in 1 day, just died."
A. All avocados are very alternate bearing so if the crop is small the next year the crop is large. That is the way my Hass and Reed have been producing. My greatest producer is Reed and I pick the fruit from August until January once it has been on the tree 17 months. Sharwil, Julia and Hellen need a little over a year on the tree. I am sorry that your trees have had such a tough time in the heat. The heat made many avocado trees drop their crop. Before a very hot day is forecast the best way to keep the trees alive, pretty and the fruit from falling is to water very heavily so the trees can respire the extra water and not dry out. Julie Frink


Joe balancing on one leg on an orchard ladder to pollinate dragon fruit.

Orchard Ladder Safety:
Useful tips on proper use from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Risk and Safety Services.

Joe risks life and limb
just to show you what
not to do on an
orchard ladder!