Moon Valley Blog

Quick Guide: Chill Hours

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 12/19/2017

stone_fruit_flowersStone fruit trees love cold weather. In fact, stone fruit trees will tend to produce the most fruit when it’s nice and chilly outside, with the right number of winter hours. Well, out here in the Southwest we don’t necessarily have too many cold days that get below 45 degrees, so we tend to miss out on being able to grow many stone fruit varieties. Here’s the good news. Moon Valley Nurseries only grows and uses the low chill fruit varieties that perform the best for our area based on overall fruit quality and chill hours required for the climate and zone. This way, you can enjoy the best tasting stone fruits such as apricots, plums, peaches and more, as well as the beautiful flower bouquets even in our mild weather!

 

What are Chill Hours?

Chill hours are the amount of time the fruit trees have spent below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Low chill fruit trees, such as stone fruit, as well as nut trees, require a specific number of hours each winter to regulate growth. So, what happens if the tree does not get enough chill hours in the winter? In a scenario such as this, a tree that doesn’t experience enough winter hours may have flower buds that will not open in spring, or they may open unevenly, which can affect the fruit production.

 

Popular Stone Fruits Available at Moon Valley Nurseriesstone_fruit_pit

Stone fruits include peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, and nectarines among others and these are fruits with a large “stone” or pit in the center of the fruit, with a seed inside the “stone.” At Moon Valley Nurseries we grow the juiciest, tastiest stone fruit anywhere, grown at the perfect number of chill hours. Other common low chill fruit trees are apples, and some of the best tasting, crispiest and juiciest apples are grown in our area!

 

Low Chill Fruit Trees We Sell

Moon Valley Nurries carries low chill fruit trees so that they’ll have good fruit production even in our mild climate. Stone fruit trees are beautiful even when they are not producing fruit. Many of these tree varieties will have showy flower bouquets before the fruit, with colors that range from light pink to purple and white! Contact your nearest Moon Valley Nurseries location to find what we have available. We have the perfect trees to choose from!

peachesPeach trees:

Grow the best-tasting safe and ready to eat sweet peaches! We have taken the guesswork out and only sell the best varieties meeting the chilling requirement for our area! Some of the types we sell include Desert gold, Florida Prince, May Pride and more! In addition to producing flavorful, tasty snacks, these are also attractive, easy to grow landscape trees.

 

Apricot trees:apricots

These are beautiful landscape trees, and we sell low chill fruit tree varieties that are the best for our area including Gold Kist and Katy apricots! Once ripe, these golden fruits are bursting with luscious flavor! Eat them whole, can them, or make dried apricot, either way, you can grow the best-tasting, safe to eat fruit in your yard! These trees are easy to grow and can thrive in a location with full sun exposure.

 

plumsPlum trees:

Guess what? One of the best tasting plum varieties also happens to be a low chill fruit tree that we grow and sell – the Santa Rosa Plum! In fact, these are the most popular plums in California and Arizona, and with just one bite of the juicy and flavorful fruit, it’s easy to see why! These easy to grow trees look great in any landscape with or without fruit! Enjoy the sight of the bouquet of white flowers of this self-fruitful tree.

 

Nectarine trees:nectarines

These small low chill fruit trees produce beautiful pinkish-white flowers in early spring before giving way to the juicy and delicious nectarine fruits! These attractive landscape trees add plenty of color to any landscape. We carry the best varieties for our areas such as Desert Delight and Double Delight. These trees are easy to grow and thrive in a location with full sun exposure.

 

Apple trees:apples

Yes, we can grow sweet, crisp and delicious apples in the Southwest! Low chill apple varieties we sell include Dorsett, Anna, Fuji, and Beverly Hills. These beautiful landscape trees are easy to grow and provide showy flowers in early spring. These trees do best when allowed to grow free form so that you can get the best bloom cycle.

 

Fig trees:fig

Eat them fresh or dried, either way, you get a healthy fruit that is an excellent source of fiber and potassium. Moon Valley Nurseries only carries the best varieties for our area including Brown Turkey, Mission, and Kadota. These trees look great in any landscape too and can also be a large shrub for use as a hedge, screen or espaliered as a vine. Fig trees thrive in a location with full sun exposure.

 

pomegranatePomegranate trees:

Technically pomegranates are berries but whatever you want to classify them as there is one thing they certainly are -full of disease-fighting antioxidants and perfect for juicing! Besides being able to produce a healthy snack, these wonderful landscape trees have beautiful, showy bright red flowers that enhance any landscape! These easy to grow trees thrive in a location that gets plenty of full sun exposure.

Free California Watering Basics Guide

Free Arizona/Nevada Watering Basics Guide

 

Topics: Insider, Expert, Winter Planting, knowledge base

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