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Critical Temperatures for Various Fruit Crops

Posted: March 28, 2011

The temperature at which fruit buds are injured depends primarily on their stage of development. As flowers begin to swell and expand into blossoms, they become less resistant to freeze injury.

Not all blossoms on a tree are equally tender. Resistance to freeze injury varies within trees as it does between orchards, cultivars, and crops. Buds that develop slowly tend to be more resistant. As a result, some buds are usually killed at higher temperatures, while others are resistant at much lower temperatures. The table and photos of bud stages at this link - http://www.canr.msu.edu/vanburen/crittemp.htm - show the average temperatures required to kill 10 percent and 90 percent of buds. Consideration should also be given to weather conditions preceding cold nights. Prolonged cool weather tends to increase bud hardiness during the early stages of bud development (http://agsci.psu.edu/tfpg/part1/AGRS045-01-10.pdf/view).