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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:44 pm 

Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 8:25 am
Posts: 147
Location: Clute,TEXAS
I have many fruit trees and plants that I have bought or, mostly, grown from seed.

I notice the chilling requirement to produce fruit. I do understand the generality of it but would like to know the EXACT meaning. For example, does 50-40 degrees qualify as a chill, does 40-30 degrees qualify as a chill, does it have to be below 32, freezing, to qualify as a chill?

Do all of the required "chill" hours have to be consecutive? In what time frame is the chill period considered? For example, if it starts getting "cold" (30-40) sometime in November and starts warming back up in March yet still has a few off and on days of a chill for a month or two after that, are the latter days still considered part of the chill?

It is important to me because living on the coast, our chill hours are rarely consecutive and it is rarely below freezing but it does get quite cold here from about late November into Mid-March to Mid-April.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:21 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:18 pm
Posts: 1093
Location: McKinney,TEXAS
A term often associated with fruit trees is "chilling hour". When some fruit trees (apples, peaches, plums, pears to name a few) are dormant, a certain amount of hours below 45 degrees F are required to trigger the development of leaf and flower buds. This is referred to as chilling hour requirement. Each variety has its own specific requirement that has been quantified by researchers. Once the chilling hour requirement has been met, the plant will bloom and leaf whenever warm weather occurs. If the chilling hour requirements are not met, the plant will produce leaves sporadically over the tree with little or no fruit. For this reason, selecting varieties of fruit trees that match the chilling hours for the area is essential for successful fruit production.

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