How's your chilling and bloom going?

fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TXMarch 1, 2014

We just past the end of chilling season in many areas that might be short on chilling. And things have been blooming in CA and similar areas for many weeks.

In west TX at 4500ft elevation we were caught between the very cold East and very warm West. So we'd have a couple days too cold for good chilling and then several too warm and repeat at least once a week all winter. This is normal only this winter was extreme in that regard.

Results were outside:
1050 hrs below 45
580 hrs 32-45
470 hrs below 32
360 hrs Utah

This gave zero bloom on Robada and Orangered apricots. There were flower buds but they aborted and never opened.

Greenhouse chilling:
1270 hrs Utah

This was achieved by holding the greenhouse 69 straight days where it never fell below 39F or rose above 57F. This gave 90% bloom on Robada and 60% bloom on Orangered both enough to require thinning. But as of right now my sweet cherries, which are just starting to bloom, still don't appear normal. The stigma looks normal but anthers don't appear to have much pollen. Maybe I'm warming them up too fast??

This post was edited by fruitnut on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 11:57

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we are still chilling , the high for today is 4 and tomarrow is -2

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:30AM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

It has been very warm in San Diego this winter.In my backyard I got

Below 45 Model: 166
Between 45 and 32 Model: 166
Utah Model: -171

The only stone fruit that didn't seem to be affected are splash pluot, sweet treat pluerry, and eva's pride peach. sweet treat pluerry is surprisingly very low chill with good bloom and fruit set. It pollinated well with my pluots.

Blenheim apricot has had a sporadic bloom of maybe 10% so far but still ongoing. Maybe 75% of those are aborting, the rest are setting fruit.

Minnie Royal and Royal Lee are blooming together sporadically at about 10% but still ongoing. Fruit set on them is decent at around 50%.

Spice zee nectaplum probably had 50% bloom, not sure about fruit set at this point.

The rest of my pluots have a pretty sporadic bloom that is ongoing and is still to early to determine what the fruit set will be like.

No signs of life from flavor delight aprium, cot-n-candy aprium, and double delight nectarine.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:54AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Seeing how early the west coast blooms brings up some questions. I often hear that early blooming or sometimes low chill may boom too early in my zone, hence subject to damage if a freeze occurs. Well any fruiting tree or plant in my area is going to have hundreds and hundreds of extra chill hours. Trees that require 800 chill hours are going to get 1600. So no matter if low chill, high chill, early bloom or late, if they bloom during a warm spell, as chilling hours are certainly met , they will be damaged. So, it is irrelevant the amount of chill hours a plant needs, as all are easily met here. An early blooming 100 chill hour plant may do extremely well here. In most years when it warms up, it stays warm, so yes in those years with late freezes we may have problems, but I'm beginning to think one needs to actually test trees in this area to really get an idea of how it will do. If year after year you don't get fruit, well OK, but if anybody needs early bloomers we do! After the cold winters, we are more than ready for action!
My Nectaplum sustained some tip damage, but will not bloom for at least 30 days , maybe 50 days from now.
10 days from now the low will be 12 degrees F. So spring is not even in sight yet.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:43AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Amazing what you can do with that little chilling. In general what I've had trouble with is the apricot and sweet cherries. On apricot the chilling requirements seem pretty rigid, get it right or bloom will suffer. Peaches and nectarine seem more OK with our fluctuating temperatures as long as it totals up OK in the end.

I may never figure out these sweet cherries.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:55AM
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My flavor delight aprium aborted 70% of its flower buds. It produced fruit, though.

So far my bella gold peacotums have opened 5% of their flower buds; they are suffering from lack of chill.

Spice zee nectaplum is doing fine; 100% of its flower buds are expected to open.

My 4-1-one pluot will start blooming next week; flavor king will be the first one to bloom, followed by flavor supreme, then flavor queen, and lastly by dapple dandy.

MY moormapark apricot seedling only had 50% bloom.

My Satsuma, Mariposa, and Santa Rosa plum did very well: 80% bloom.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:33PM
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My two sweet treat pluerries are still dormant.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:34PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


My Cot-N-Candy in the greenhouse had full and early bloom. Just did first thinning on it. My impression is it's pretty low chilling but then I really can't tell.


How much chilling did you get this year?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:38PM
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Most of my plum blossoms are going to open after the rain goes by. I hope it will be just cold enough to get something from my new weeping Santa Rosa this year. Satsuma is already blooming but has more to come after the rain.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:13PM
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Below 45 Model: 234
Between 45 and 32 Model: 234
Phoenix, AZ

In ground apples never went completely dormant (at tips). New Shell of Alabama (x2) apples broke dormancy and leafed out in pots third week in Jan. And I had to pinch flowers off of the terminal ends of both benchgrafts. Get them in the ground soon. None of the other potted apples (17 cultivars) have leafed out yet!

Only one of the pears has leafed out (Tennessee) though several didn't go completely dormant.

All peaches and nectarines save one are leafed out and most flowered by now. Double Delight nectarine on Nemaguard some bud swell.

Apricots, including Flavor Delight, just started breaking bud and flowering this week. Few still snoozing.

Kelsey plum leafed out 2 weeks ago and flowered, Mariposa, Early Golden, Burgundy and Inca just started leafing out past few days. All other plums/pluots either bud swell or asleep.
Con-n-Candy red bud swelled all over the place. Spice Zee red leaved all over but only 3 flowers.

Minnie Royal and Royal Lee spurs are swelling. MR seems to be ahead.

Sweet Treat covered in leaves.

Grapes are popping out. Blackberries primocanes (now florocanes) never went dormant. Peter's Honey fig is leafing out and other figs are just starting. Asian Persimmons dormant. Almonds leafing/never really went dormant. One of the pecans is showing some bud swell.

Washington Parent Navel Orange blossoms just starting to grow out.

This post was edited by Fascist_Nation on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 1:27

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:13AM
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How do you get your chilling info? Manually or electronically.
My Santa Rosa and dapple dandy just starting to break. Only a few buds showing but not quite open. Freezing rain tonight with freezing lows for the next few nights. I am greedy so I draped the frost cloth over the two trees and put out a flood light under them to hopefully save buds. Don't know if this will work but figured worth try. 75 degrees yesterday. Crazy weather. Everything else is still dormant.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:17PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

You need a reliable weather underground station with good data and the Get Chill program.

Here is a link that might be useful: Get Chill

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:38PM
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Wow! That is too cool. I didn't know that existed.
Below 45:1591
Between 45 and 32:1098

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:24PM
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How did you know your greenhouse? Electronics controls? That would be cool project. Sorry couldn't resist. :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:27PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


One very nice thing about your climate is excellent chilling with little danger of severe mid winter cold. In a shelter all you need to do is make sure you aren't heating up the plants too much on sunny winter days.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 8:40AM
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Minus 12 F in Madison this morning, but, if you can believe the weather forecast, the end of winter here is finally in sight. By Friday we should be in the 30's, and there are no below zero lows forecast in the next week. We have about 6 inches of snow, and the ground is said to be frozen to a depth of about four feet. Our blueberries came through the winter with minimal rabbit damage, so it looks like we will get a good crop this summer.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:03AM
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goyo626 S.Cal.8b/SZ20

This year was really bad for chill hours. Total chill hours prob no more that 200. Anna and dorsett golden bloomed in january. Royal lee and minnie royal bloomed in late january. I was worried about sweet treat pluerry because of lack of chill but it has bloomed heavily in the last 2 weeks. My burgundy plum has only started to break dormancy. My young parfianka aborted 2 flowers but it has put on 5" growth in about a month. All my guavas (6) have just started to grow but it blooms on new growth mid year.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Sharp contrast here from year to year which is expected in my neck of the woods but its been the coldest winter I can remeber. Here are the numbers from 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 from Nov 1st to today.

Below 45, 189
Btw 45 & 32, 173
Utah(not that it matters here) -289

Below 45, 696
Btw 45 & 32 578
Utah 0

You can add at least another 36 hours to that total as we are not getting above 45 for the next couple days! On a bad note, it wasnt suppost to get below 40 last night, woke up this morning to go to work and its 34 degrees and dipped down to 29 for a couple hours when the sun came up. Had my potted Lychee and several citrus still out side! Hoping for the best. At least they were on the south side of the house so hopefully that little micro climate will have kept the temp a few degrees above that. Plus they are tucked right up next to all my water barrels so there is some degree of insulation, plus the little amount of heat coming from the house.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 1:13PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Hey blueboy, this year we had identical hrs 32-45. We had ~300 more below 32. It has been a strange year and they are saying no change the next month. Cold to the east and warm out west. That leaves us on the yoyo in between.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 1:52PM
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Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CA

Good Morning /Afternoon All~

It is going to be an interesting year for fruit. I hope I at least get a few to eat through the year. ïÂÂ

Got some good crazy rain over the weekend. Thunder woke me straight out of bed. Worst I have ever heard or felt. Yard is now a muddy sinking mess. Poor animals (Horse, chickens, dogs and cats) are miserable as am I but trees and veges are loving it! No watering for me anytime soon. ïÂÂ

Was unable to keep my formatting when copying and pasting from word. Sorry.

Here are my sad numbersâ¦â¦
Below 45 Model: 83
Between 45 and 32 Model: 83
Utah Model: -669

New tree, leafing out.

Few leaves, no bud swell. Tree has been in the ground 3 years now, grows beautifully, tons of vigor (Unknown rootstock), not ONE fruit yet. ïÂÂ

Few flowers, did not set, no bud swell, dormant.

Cot -N- Candy
50% bloom, flowers look normal (Beautiful tree), seems to be good fruit set.

Never went dormant, flowering now. Ate an apple just a few weeks ago from this tree (Was yummy ïÂÂ).

Dorsett Golden
Never went dormant, flowering is just about finished. Fruit has set. Need to thin.

Tips of branches has mini leaves, no bud swell.

Pink Lady
A few tips have mini leaves and flowered, one fruit has set, no bud swell.

New tree, leafing out.

Asian Pear
Dormant, no bud swell.

I know some are setting fruit. Just donâÂÂt remember which ones as I am at work. All are in full bloom. Types are Pink Lemonade, Sharpblue, Southmoon, Sunshine Blue

Minnie Royal, Royal Lee
Both have been slowly flowering. Not sure on fruit set.

Spice Zee
50% bloom, flowers look normal, hopeful for fruit set.

Artic Star
Blooming, flowers look abnormal, not sure of fruit set.

Double Delight
Dormant, no bud swell.

Desert Delight
Early bloom, young tree, knocked fruit off.

Snow Queen
Dormant, no bud swell.

August Pride
Blooming, flowers look abnormal, not sure of fruit set.

Few flowers, few leaves, no bud swell on most of tree.

Desert Gold
Early bloom, fruit has set.

EvaâÂÂs Pride
Early bloom, fruit has set.
Dormant, no bud swell.

May Pride
Blooming, flowers look abnormal, not sure on fruit set.

Mid Pride
Started out slow but is now in full bloom. Flowers look normal, hopeful for fruit set.

Red Baron
Dormant, no bud swell.

20% bloom, not sure of fruit set.

Dormant, no bud swell.

Emerald Drop
Full bloom, flowers look normal, hopeful for fruit set.

Flavor Grenade
Some bud swell.

Flavor King
Few flowers (Look normal), some bud swell.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:28PM
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Quoting fruinut


How much chilling did you get this year?"

Below 45 Model: 1046
Between 45 and 32 Model: 935
Utah Model: 757

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:36PM
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"...And things have been blooming in CA and similar areas for many weeks."

Yes, we've been blooming for a while now. 'Desert Gold' peach is "almond in the shell" size and has been thinned on a couple of passes. 'Arctic Star' nectarine will get it's first thinning pass this weekend. 'Burgundy' and 'Beauty' plums have started setting some fruit as well.

I'm growing things that are suited for my locale, and I'm not pushing any limits, so I don't pay any attention to chill hour calculators. For me they are as relevant as tracking tide patterns. ;)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:18AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

In Santa Barbara

Red Barron Peach, planted 2 falls ago, is in full bloom

Gold Kist apricot got its first pass at thinning

Both Panamint and Arctic Star nectarines are about ready for thinning

Planted last spring, Anna apple has fruit set and needs thinning

One of the new pluots is in full bloom as well too bad the pollenator plums are not

All the rest of my new trees are all busy leafing or getting ready to

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:26AM
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I have had more than enough chill hours this year. Last time I checked I had over 1200.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:24PM
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