Dr. Joseph Goffreda has dedicated nearly three decades of research to the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station tree fruit breeding program. He received an “Inventor of the Year” award in 2015 from the NJ Inventors Hall of Fame for breeding ‘NJF16,’ a peach variety marketed under the name TangOs®. This hybrid variety is known for being sweet, flat-shaped, and 100% yellow. Tree fruit growers prefer it because its non-melting flesh makes it safer to transport. Dr. Goffreda’s dedication to tree fruit breeding has been instrumental in sustaining the tree fruit industry in the Northeast. As changes in climate introduce new threats, selecting for resistance to frost and new pests will help trees adapt and continue producing delicious fruits. Dr. Goffreda and other members of the the Rutgers tree fruit breeding program in Cream Ridge, New Jersey, conduct research to develop new high-quality varieties of apple, apricot, nectarine, plum, and peach trees. The center increases production efficiency and protects fruit crops against environmental and biological hazards, while decreasing production costs and pesticide use.
The tree fruit breeding program at Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station began in 1907, introducing varieties bred for their superior eating quality, winter-hardiness, and disease resistance that are well known in the tree fruit industry. Breeder Joseph Goffreda, who has patents for apples, apricots, peaches and nectarines, has led the Rutgers tree fruit breeding program since 1989. Dr. Goffreda’s dedication to tree fruit breeding has been instrumental in sustaining the tree fruit industry of the Northeast.
Tree Fruit Varieties
The following tree fruit varieties are currently being licensed by Rutgers Licensing and Technology: Agricultural Products.
- August Rose™
- July Rose™
- Scarlet Rose™
- BuenOs™ II
- TangOs ® II
- Flat Wonderful™
Tree Fruit Research
The tree fruit breeding program conducts and disperses research applicable to the production of high-quality tree and small fruits, including apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, brambles, strawberries, and ornamental nursery crops. The program aims to increase production efficiency and protect fruit crops against environmental and biological hazards, while decreasing production costs and pesticide use.
Note: Only traditional breeding techniques are used, such as cross-pollination.
Rutgers researchers breed peaches with tolerance to major diseases, such as bacterial spot. Bacterial spot is difficult to control and typically requires the use of antibiotics and copper. Many commercial varieties of peaches have been developed in parts of the country where there is low disease pressure. However, since New Jersey’s climate can be favorable to disease development, tree fruit specialists such as Dr. Goffreda sought out to develop cultivars more suitable for production in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Other factors considered in the breeding and selection process include tolerance to other major diseases, cold-hardy flower buds, and fruit eating quality.
Seasonal shifts concern tree fruit yields because of the introduction of diseases and the movement of pests along with warmer temperatures, in addition to early bloom and frost vulnerability associated with season creep. Breeding for resistance is crucially important to prepare farmers for the introduction of new threats brought on by climate change. The PRI disease resistant apple breeding program is cooperative among Purdue University, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and the University of Illinois. The program was initiated in 1945 to breed apples resistant to scab caused by the fungal pathogen Venturia inaequalis.
Integrated Pest Management
There are a number of reasons why tree fruit breeding is essential to prepare tree fruits for the introduction of pests and diseases. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) helps tree fruit growers with the threat of intensified pest invasions by educating farmers about selecting resistance varieties and taking measures to reduce pesticide use. Breeding is needed to produce disease resistance in fruit trees and tackle associated issues, such as proper drainage, air flow, and other ways to overcome climate changes with regard to soils, storm water, and humidity. Rutgers Cooperative Extension provides education and outreach for techniques to reduce frost damage, increase use of IPM, expanding irrigation, and experimenting with new varieties.
Tree Fruit Availability
- Apricot season spans from early July to late July.
- Peach and nectarine season spans from early July to mid-September.
- Plum season spans from early July to late September.
- Apple season spans from mid-July to mid-December.
Look for the Jersey Fresh label or ask your local farmer where they get their tree fruit. For a full listing of what’s in season, see the NJ Seasonality Chart, produced by the NJ Farm Bureau, NJ Department of Agriculture, and Rutgers Cooperative Extension (with funding from a 2010 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant).
Adams County Nursery currently sells tree fruits released by the Rutgers tree fruit breeding program, such as peaches, nectarines, and apricots. Commercial Growers Due to high demand, commercial growers are encouraged to reserve trees one to two years in advance. Home Gardeners Purchase fruit trees for your backyard! See the Adams County Nursery Fruit Trees page for information about retail variety availability.
Retail orders of more than 5 trees and less than 25 trees are priced at $31.95/tree, with the exception of cherry trees. If you wish to order less than five trees, a freight surcharge relative to your location (see map) will be added to the order. This surcharge is applied on a per order basis, not a per tree basis.
Certain varieties do carry royalty fees, and these will be automatically calculated where applicable. Please see the Adams County Nursery Retail Pricing page for a full listing of varieties protected by U.S. Plant Patents and Trademarks. Note: not all varieties are available for retail customers.
Sources Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Rutgers Licensing and Technology: Agricultural Products NJAES Tree Fruit Breeder Joe Goffreda (CC’83) Named “Inventor of the Year” for Patented Peach Adams County Nursery Visit NJ Farms