local chill hours

Asked February 27, 2020, 12:00 PM EST

Hello, I was wondering if you could help me find my average annual chill hours to help me choose varieties of fruit trees to plant. I know about the app run by MSU, but this app does not seem to be capable of giving data for past years, only the current years. Thank you!

Louisa County Virginia

1 Response

Hello-

I reached out to two local agents who are my "go-tos" for fruit tree questions. So, we need some more information to better answer this question. A lot of things can determine the answer of this question- what types of fruit you are planning on planting (apples, plums, cherries, etc.), the varieties you are planning on planting, how many you're planning on planting, what the terrain looks like where you're planting (on the side of a hill, at the bottom of a hill, top of a hill, flat, etc.).

One agent mentioned that the MSU link that you referred gives 10 years worth of data, which should be enough to determine a pretty accurate chill hours for this area.

In this area, we normally get enough chilling hours that it isn't a problem. We probably need to look at the last frost date when determining varieties. Unfortunately, more commonly in this area we are seeing a warm February/March that causes trees to bud out and then bloom, and then a frost that hits in mid April and wipes out all of the blooms. You probably want to look more at that than chilling hours.

However, this is another map that may help you determine chilling hours if you are still interested. https://extension.umd.edu/aronia/cultivation-range-0

Sarah Sharpe
VCE-Greene