At 1050 hours, the long chilling requirement of Contender makes for relatively late breaking of dormancy and relatively late bloom. Contender has been among our most consistently dependable varieties. From Shaub in NC: "I am in Z6b and prone to frost at time of flowering. [Contender] has really surprised me with its ability to set fruit. I have had 4 crops in 4 years and I thought peaches were a lark for my site. One spring while in full bloom and little to no wind it was probably exposed to hours below 32 and a solid 27 degrees low, if not lower, while in full bloom. The petals were all badly burned and I thought the stamens and pistils looked 'not too good' also. Yet I still ended up having to thin fruit later on."