University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Little research has been done to determine the chilling requirement for blackberry cultivars. However, field observations from areas where fewer hours of chilling occur indicate that ‘Navaho’ requires more hours of chilling than does ‘Arapaho’. The objective of our study was to determine a method for measuring the chilling requirement using whole plants of two blackberry cultivars, Arapaho and Navaho. One-year old, bare-root plants were field-dug on 26 October 1999 and placed in a cold chamber at 3ºC. Ten single-plant replications of each cultivar were removed at 100-hour intervals up to 1000 hours. The plants were potted and placed in a greenhouse (daily minimum temperature 15ºC), and plants were arranged on benches in a completely randomized design. Budbreak was recorded on a weekly basis. Data for budbreak were analyzed as a two-factor factorial (2 cultivars and 10 chilling treatments) by SAS and means were separated by least significant difference (P = 0.05). Data indicated that the chilling requirement for Arapaho is between 400 and 500 hours. For Navaho, the data indicated the chilling requirement was between 800 and 900 hours. These data support previous observations and indicate that the method used was successful in determining the chilling requirement for blackberries.