Mehr Chilling für Obstbäume in wärmeren Wintern uri icon


  • Due to the structure of the winter chill models, which do not consider freezing temperatures as chilling-effective, the highest chilling was not registered in the coldest winters, but rather when average temperatures between early December and late February were between 2 and 6A degrees C. The coldest winter on record (1963/1964; mean winter temperature of -aEuro parts per thousand 4A degrees C) had by far the lowest winter chill total, and chilling during the more recent cold winters 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 was also below average.
  • On average over all years, 955 CH, 1160 CU and 58.0 CP had accumulated in the Meckenheim fruit growing region by 1st January, 1356 CH, 1527 CU and 77.3 CP by 1st February, and 1727 CH, 1883 CU and 96.1 CP by 1st March. Coefficients of variation varied between 14 and 16% for the Chilling Hours Model, between 18 and 19% for the Utah Model and between 9 and 10% for the Dynamic Model. In spite of significant warming of the site, no clear long-term trends were detected.
  • Only very pronounced warming reduced winter chill, with the warmest winter on record (2006/2007; mean winter temperature of 7.1A degrees C) accumulating less winter chill than slightly cooler winters. As long as such extreme temperatures remain exceptional, fulfilment of chilling requirements of local apple and cherry cultivars should not become critical. It is important to note, however, that substantial knowledge gaps exist in the field of fruit tree dormancy, which will have to be closed, before more reliable projections of future fulfilment of chilling requirements can be made.
  • The objective of this study was the calculation of winter chill for fruit trees in the Meckenheim fruit growing region for all winters since 1958 and the evaluation of long-term trends in response to global warming. A further objective was the comparison of three winter chill models, the Chilling Hours Model (Chilling Hours-CH), the Utah Model (Chill Units-CU) and the Dynamic Model (Chill Portions-CP) with respect to temporal trends and seasonal variation in chilling intensity. To meet these objectives, about 120,000 hourly temperature measurements from Klein-Altendorf were correlated with daily temperature extremes. From this relationship, a long-term record of 466,000 hourly temperature data was constructed and used to calculate winter chill between 1st October of each year and three dates of the following year for all winters since 1958/1959.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011