While the weather lately has been fairly mild, there has been enough cold weather over the winter that most fruit trees have received sufficient chill hours to be ready to bloom once we get warm for long enough. In fact, some very early varieties have already started to blossom, according to reports from some South Carolina extension agents. The total number of chill hours is definitely higher than last year in most places, according to calculations from AgroClimate.org. Now we wait to see if the last frost has already passed or if Mother Nature still has a cold outbreak in store for us. So far the long-range weather models do not show any freezing weather except in higher elevations and in northern parts of Virginia, but the longer-range climate models show that late March and early April could be cooler than normal, although this time of year that would not necessarily be freezing weather. Here are a couple of recent stories on the chill hours.

Georgia Peach Trees Enjoying High Chill Hours – Specialty Crop Grower

Alabama Peach Trees Enjoying High Chill Hours – Specialty Crop Grower

Source: Karen Blaha, Commons Wikimedia