Duplicating Chill Hours?

czecher(9/10)June 15, 2013

I know that some of my trees have a required chill time in order to fruit. I know that some rose enthusiasts will ice the water bowl under the tea bushes to stave off flowering. Would this same principal work if used under fruit trees to simulate the chill hours since I normally wont get the requirement they need?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I've never seen any convincing evidence that would work. What will work in a dry climate is evaporative cooling. Mist or spray the tree enough to wet the leaf and fruit buds, let that evaporate, and wet again anytime it warms above 45-54F in winter. This requires an automated system to do any justice to the method. In combination with winter shade this would help.

But it's not likely worth the effort considering all the good low chill fruits one can plant these days.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 4:49PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

The required chilling is for the buds on the branches. Not for the roots

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:40PM
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The warm, soaking wet El Nino winter of 1995-1996 in California's central valley had predictions of chilling-hour disaster from the near-tropical weather, but ended up being a record year of productivity. Turns out that water washes off some of what keeps the trees from blossom burst, and the same could be done with lawn sprinklers.

However I agree with fruitnut that there are so many excellent low-chill varieties of stonefruit, this is completely unnecessary. I also ignore the chilling hour rating on apples and do just fine.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:02PM
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