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Wondering about chill hours

Posted by hatrabbit 9 (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 12, 11 at 19:20

Hello... I have a Gold Kist apricot that produced modestly last year, but nothing at all this year. The first thing I'm suspecting is not enough winter chill hours. Does anyone here know where to look up this winter's chill hours by area? (I'm in Orange County, CA). Also, what other things would you experts look to as a reason for zero production? Thanks

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RE: Wondering about chill hours

  • Posted by fruitnut Z7_4500ft elev SW TX (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 12, 11 at 19:48

I know a person in Burbank who said his chilling came in November and February with very little in the middle of winter. This is likely a bad combination for apricot as his were poor this year as well. The late chilling came too late to help.

As low chilling as your area is you just have to expect some poor years.

RE: Wondering about chill hours

I grow Apricot I have 8 trees and they produce moderately. I understand that the Apricot tree on the average needs 500 hours of chill. In zone 7 we are shivering from cold. If you want to know how to calculate the chill hours go to Raintree Nursery site they have a formula.

RE: Wondering about chill hours

Our GoldKist never did fruit, puzzling because it is supposed to be adapted to low-chill. The neighboring Royal Apricot fruits every year just fine. A neighbor up the road has an apricot tree next to the street that is loaded each year, and so the variety selection is very important.

RE: Wondering about chill hours

According to the UC Davis weather station, Orange county received approx. 340 chill hours this winter.

Bay Laurel Nursery's web site claims that Gold Kist apricots need 300 chill hours. But, as another poster pointed out, if those chill hours were split, then it could mess with stone fruits breaking dormancy properly. My own peaches seem to be doing fine but I think my plum didn't like the weird weather pattern this year--it's not anywhere near flowering yet :(

Here is a link that might be useful: Chill Hours calculator

RE: Wondering about chill hours

you guys are harsh, chill days? we have had 3 days in a row over 40 f and I still had to use snow shoes to start pruning.80 trees down 220 left to go. Maybe next sunday it will just be high boots. Ever tried backing up with a pole pruner on snow shoes?

RE: Wondering about chill hours

ravenh, everytime i think of the high taxes, high cost of living, dysfunctional government we have in CA i see a post like yours and remember why i put up with it....

RE: Wondering about chill hours

I have a two year old semi-dwarf Goldkist tree in the ground. The first year I got about 20 apricots off of a 2-3 foot tree. This year it is 3-4 feet and just starting to break dormancy. I see some blooms already.

The weather in my area is probably similar to yours. We get about ~350 hours of chill 10 miles inland in San Diego.

My tree produces fruit on the ends of last years growth. Are you pruning back the top growth from last year? Maybe it was mislabeled at the nursery? Not sure how much of a role rootstock plays a role in fruit production. Maybe too much fertilizer? Potted vs in ground? I am not an expert just throwing out some ideas.

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