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Old 12-31-2018, 12:47 PM
 
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I came across this question while I was shopping for fruit trees.

I live in the high desert just outside of Los Angeles (as I like to refer it as “Mediterranean climate” ). It is USDA zone 8b. While I was shopping for fruit trees it would say zone 4 to 8 so my climate meets the USDA zone, but it also say # of chill hours is 400. I looked up the average chill hours in my zone and it says 200.

Which one should I go with? I had assumed if a fruit tree meets the USDA zone it means it will grow well and produce fruits. Now they introduce another criterion which is not consistent with the previous one.

What say you?
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:02 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
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What kind of fruit trees were you considering? There are a number of fruits that require more chill hours than others.

.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
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I follow the chill hour requirements vs the USDA climate charts when it comes to fruit trees. Here are some suggestions for low chill hour fruit trees. I was in zone 10a for a while, and there were several varieties of fruit trees that would grow there...

Regards
Gemstone1
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
What kind of fruit trees were you considering? There are a number of fruits that require more chill hours than others.
.
It’s a generic question that applies to ALL fruit trees.

For example, Lapin Cherry, on one site it says suitable from zone 5 - 9
https://www.starkbros.com/products/f...s-sweet-cherry

Yet on another site, it says a 400 chill hours is needed “or less” maybe my escape clause.
https://baylaurelnursery.com/cherries.html
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:45 PM
 
4,802 posts, read 8,495,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemstone1 View Post
I follow the chill hour requirements vs the USDA climate charts when it comes to fruit trees. Here are some suggestions for low chill hour fruit trees. I was in zone 10a for a while, and there were several varieties of fruit trees that would grow there...

Regards
Gemstone1
Thanks for the link. I am a fan of Tom Spellman and follow his YouTube channel religiously.

However; I find his selection rather limited. For example, I know Fuyu Persimmons is low chill, less than 200 hours, but it’s not on his list.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
2,435 posts, read 1,015,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
I came across this question while I was shopping for fruit trees.

I live in the high desert just outside of Los Angeles (as I like to refer it as “Mediterranean climate” ). It is USDA zone 8b. While I was shopping for fruit trees it would say zone 4 to 8 so my climate meets the USDA zone, but it also say # of chill hours is 400. I looked up the average chill hours in my zone and it says 200.

Which one should I go with? I had assumed if a fruit tree meets the USDA zone it means it will grow well and produce fruits. Now they introduce another criterion which is not consistent with the previous one.

What say you?
I always went with the chill hours and what trees were suited for the type of climate that I was living with.

We have McIntosh, Rome, and Liberty apples here which are the "high chill" ones requiring 800-1000 hours. All of them are also suited for the humid and relatively rainy climate we have here and are tolerant of both cold and wet soil.

The Gala apple was the most common one when I was living in the South.

Your local extension office might be a good place to start in looking for information on fruit trees that do well in your area.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:50 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
6,368 posts, read 6,025,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
It’s a generic question that applies to ALL fruit trees.

For example, Lapin Cherry, on one site it says suitable from zone 5 - 9
https://www.starkbros.com/products/f...s-sweet-cherry

Yet on another site, it says a 400 chill hours is needed “or less” maybe my escape clause.
https://baylaurelnursery.com/cherries.html

Okay. Don't think of "or less" as an escape clause - there are no escape clauses, there is only what the plant/tree needs. In your first post you asked "Which one should I go with?" so I'll say select ALL of your fruit trees based on the maximum number of chill hours that they need and that you know your location actually gets, rather than what is said to be suitable trees for a range of zones. The number of chill hours your location can be dependably expected to get every year is a more dependable guide than a broad range of zone listings. Zones are not all equal and in some cases are meaningless - as an example, a zone 7 on the west coast is not equal to a zone 7 on the east coast because there are too many other different climatic conditions besides zone temperatures that need to be taken into consideration.
.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:58 PM
 
10,914 posts, read 4,380,385 times
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Put simply, chill hours and plant hardiness zones are two very different things. One may be quite different than the other. You need to coordinate chill hours of a specific fruit with the amount of chill hours you receive in your area, not always what zone it grows in.
Chill hours tells you how many hours of cold it needs below a certain temp to produce fruit. Planting zone tells you where the plant is most likely to survive the general climate as it pertains to temps. A cherry tree may survive and grow just fine in zone 9, but it won't produce fruit there.

Last edited by marino760; 12-31-2018 at 04:23 PM..
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:43 PM
Status: "I am proud to shut down the government" (set 2 hours ago)
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,764 posts, read 7,452,676 times
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OP, go out and buy yourself a Sunset Garden Book. There you will find a different zone system than the USDA system that is much better at detailing the different climates in southern california.

And yes - go by the chill hours. Most temperate fruit trees can survive most california conditions. But surviving is not the same thing as bearing abundant fruit.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
17,271 posts, read 21,283,565 times
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I'm also in zone 8b, but in San Jose area. My thought was to see what's thriving in your area, if that's possible. For instance, in the old neighborhood I live in, I can see which fruit trees do great. Lots of ripe citrus right now around here, from persimmons to lemons to tangerines to limes and oranges, etc. You probably can't go wrong with citrus.

If you have a decent nursery (not a big box store), you could ask what thrives in the area.
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