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Chilling and heat requirements of Japanese plum cultivars for flowering

Ruiz, David, Egea, José, Salazar, Juan Alfonso, Campoy, José Antonio
Scientia horticulturae 2018 v.242 pp. 164-169
Prunus salicina, cold treatment, cultivars, dormancy, flowering date, heat
The chilling requirements for dormancy release and heat requirements for flowering were studied for three successive years in eleven Prunus salicina L. cultivars that spanned the range of flowering times in this species. Different methods for estimating chilling requirements were evaluated and compared, and correlations between chilling requirements, heat requirements and flowering date were established. The cultivars examined showed a range of chilling requirements (chill units, CU), spanning from 334.3 CU (‘Pioneer’) to 987.5 CU (‘Songold’). The heat requirements for flowering ranged between 5990 and 9228 growing degree hours. The chilling requirements were significantly different among cultivars, whereas no cultivar effect was found for the heat requirement values. In addition, chill portions were the variable that correlated the most with flowering date in Japanese plum. The dissection of flowering date into chilling and heat requirements indicates that chilling requirements is the main variable driving the variation of flowering time within Japanese plum cultivars.