Several of our fruit trees are sluggish putting on leaves this spring; we suspect it’s because they didn’t get enough chilling hours. In general, it’s a bad thing for a fruit tree to get insufficient chilling hours. It tends to delay its foliation, meaning it doesn’t add leaves quickly. That means it also doesn’t set fruit. And even when a tree sets fruit, insufficient chilling hours can cause the quality of the fruit to suffer.
This week’s podcast is all about the choices we’ve made – some of them probably wrong, it turns out – about the varieties of fruit tree to plant. We go through our orchard crop by crop and talk about what we are likely to do.
Here’s the page on the www.aces.edu web site that tracks chilling hours in real time at several locations around Alabama.
The Longleaf Breeze Planting Database (link below) has chilling hours for most of the varieties we’re growing.