Author Topic: Fruit tree chill hours ??????  (Read 6115 times)

Offline agragarden

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Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« on: January 14, 2016, 07:06:47 AM »
  Last year we bought 3 peach trees from the local nursery . The person that sold us the trees said they get trees for this area according to the chill hours. I think ours was 750 chill hours. Would someone tell me what this means.

  Stupid RIck

Offline PawPaw gene

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 07:29:22 AM »
Rick, chill hours are the hours in winter that a tree needs to be at to be able to produce the following year. A chill hour is an hour between 32 and 40 degrees. Some trees only need 150 hours in between 32 and 45 degrees to be productive the following year while some need 750 or more. If a tree doesn't get enough chill hours it will affect it's performance the following year. It will either not produce at all or have a much smaller production. That is why when you look at catalogs they will tell you a certain tree is for a certain zone. A tree listed for zone 9 will need minimum chill hours where as a tree listed for zone 6 will need many chill hours. That is why apple and cherries are grown in the northern areas as they mostly need high chill hours. The same trees will not be productive in the south.
"gene"

Offline agragarden

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 07:56:25 AM »
     OK then can a tree that is 150 chill hours get to manychill hours?


   RIck

Offline tuttimato

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 10:25:54 AM »
Rick this site provides an easy way to check chill accumulation as your winter progresses.  Right or wrong, I use the under 45 degree table.  I'd suggest people bookmark this for future ref.

http://getchill.net/

The fruit tree vendors online will list the chill hours with their tree descriptions.  I try to check several sources before I make my choices.  Here is an example.

http://www.leggcreekfarm.com/

Try and you might, don't and you won't.

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Offline Double B

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 10:49:13 AM »
Rick,

By looking at a chill hours map, it appears the state of Oklahoma gets an average of 1,200/ year. Even if this winter gets less than that, you should still be fine with the peach trees requiring 750 hours. Proper pruning and fertilizing along with keeping pests away should yield you some fruit.

One thing that is treacherous with peaches is a late freeze. Once it warms up in the spring peaches will put on beautiful blooms and then baby peaches. Many years, a last cold snap will kill the young fruit. Protect them from that if you can.
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Offline Wosiewose

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2016, 01:28:20 PM »
Agreed on the late freezes.  We had a beautiful young apricot tree, about four years old, that had put out its blossoms when we got the second-in-a-row Mothers' Day snow last year.  Not only were the blossoms killed, but the tree itself slowly died and we had to remove it.  *sigh*  Considering planting a new one this year and trying again, but it was awfully discouraging.  And that was a variety that was supposed to do well and bear lots of fruit all the way down to zone 4...

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Offline Okie Bob

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2016, 05:40:54 AM »
     OK then can a tree that is 150 chill hours get to manychill hours?


   RIck
I didn't see a response for Ricks question. Can someone help us out here? I'd never heard of 'chill hours' before either.
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Offline tuttimato

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2016, 10:20:32 AM »
Breeding for chill requirements is complicated by bloom timing.  The trick is to choose trees that bloom late enough to miss the frost and yet bring in an early, mid-season or late crop.  Ideally, you want to have a succession of production. 

Climate survival is a different matter not always real closely related to the bloom or ripening times.  This link is a good reference that demonstrates that. 

http://www.fruittreefarm.com/peaches.htm

I've never done business with those people so it isn't a recommendation.  I do find it odd that they're sold out of trees this early because they weren't in years past.  Maybe the whole country is planting peaches this year.  I know the last 3 times I bought some beautiful big ones from the grocery store at ridiculous prices they went bad before they ripened and the trimmings were tasteless. 
Try and you might, don't and you won't.

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Offline agragarden

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 05:21:02 AM »
  Bob.....  I've heard of chill hours but never did understand them..    I can see you could not bring a tree that has the hours for Minnesota say 1500 chill hours to Okla. that has only 750 chill hours. But Can i take a 750 to a 1500 Minnesota?   Thats why I ask can a 150 chill hour tree get to many chill hours?

    Rick

Offline cappy

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2016, 12:00:04 PM »
In simple country boy terms chill hours are the amount of time a tree needs to rest up in winter to produce the next year.  They are Gods great equalizer.  Yankees cant grow oranges but us deep southerners can't grow apples.  etc.  I cant grow apples or peaches but I have citrus and bananas some years the bananas make it some years they don't it depends on how much winter we have in other word  hours to chill. ;)
 

Offline Okie Bob

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 05:17:08 AM »
Rick nor I have seen a response to the question......can a tree get too many chill hours? Let's say I have a peach tree that needs 750 chill hours to be productive and it gets 2000 chill hours. Will it still be as productive?? Or does production taper off as you exceed the recommended minimum chill hours?
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Offline Big Frog

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2016, 05:54:30 PM »
chill hours are usually expressed as minimum hours required.  If you go over it should not affect production as long as you do not get a killing frost after blossom opening.  I live in East Texas and a lot of peace are raised here.  Our winters vary greatly from extremely mild like this year to fairly severe as was the case last year(2014) but we seem to still have good peach crops as long as a late freeze does not get them

Offline Chapman

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2016, 06:18:16 PM »
Rick nor I have seen a response to the question......can a tree get too many chill hours? Let's say I have a peach tree that needs 750 chill hours to be productive and it gets 2000 chill hours. Will it still be as productive?? Or does production taper off as you exceed the recommended minimum chill hours?
[/quote



I would say after the tree gets it's 750 chill hours and starts putting out blooms the freezing weather  coming afterwards would kill the blooms in your example.  That's what would happen if you took a 200 chill hour peach tree up to Oklahoma.  After 200 chill hours it would be ready to start putting out blooms.
]
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 06:25:01 PM by Chapman »
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Offline tuttimato

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2016, 09:30:40 AM »
This is the first year ALL my peach trees are what I'd call mature since last year was a first small crop for 3 varieties.  This being an abnormally warm winter may have upset their behavior but I'm finding the blooming order fascinating.  La Feliciana requires the most chill and yet bloomed first.  Rio Grande requires the least chill but didn't bloom til 2 weeks after La Feliciana had finished.  Sam Houston is in the middle but is blooming last with Rio Grande.  Texas King overlapped La Feliciana by a week.  It will be interesting to see in what order the fruit ripens.  Rio Grande and Sam Houston are in full flush now, which is well past my normal last frost of March 19, so I think they're my safest bet for a crop every year.
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Offline rw7810

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2016, 12:54:47 PM »
Now Tuttimato - that chili index site is way cool!  Thanks!  :)

Rick this site provides an easy way to check chill accumulation as your winter progresses.  Right or wrong, I use the under 45 degree table.  I'd suggest people bookmark this for future ref.

http://getchill.net/

The fruit tree vendors online will list the chill hours with their tree descriptions.  I try to check several sources before I make my choices.  Here is an example.

http://www.leggcreekfarm.com/
Bob W.
Peach Tree Farm
Van, TX

woodchip gardener

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2016, 09:55:40 PM »
hi rick.  from what i understand, the chill hours is a trigger point in a tree.  it is not that your plant can get too many chill hours per se.  the problem is that if you have a 750 hr tree once the tree reaches that amount of hours at any point after that if you get a one off/unusual warm up the tree has already reached its chill hours goal, so it can trigger the tree to wake up and bloom.  so if you live in a 1200 hour zone,  once the warm spell hits it can lead to blooming but then you go back to cold since you have many more days of cold left your flowers will die and you won't get any fruit. 

it's really about picking the right tree with the correct number of chill hours that align to the average chill hours for your area.  if you can keep them close, then the less chance there is for a tree to either not get enough cold time or risk getting its flowers ruined by frosts.

hope this helps.

Offline agragarden

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2016, 04:00:52 AM »
   Thanks woodchip...............  Now Im guessing these [CHill Hours] were bred into them or is this a mother nature thing.

    Rick

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Re: Fruit tree chill hours ??????
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2016, 07:59:28 AM »
hi rick.  chill hour needs are built into a tree by mother nature.  they are part of a tree's natural cycle.  yes, you can breed a tree to have more/less hourly need depending on what varieties of trees you cross.