Cold Hardiness Warning

Cold hardiness tests performed this week on cherry samples from two different locations in Benton County suggest a high risk of damage to cherry buds due to recent and pending cold temperatures. While orchard management practices affect the cold hardiness of cherries, there is currently a high degree of confidence that temperatures will pass the threshold where damage to buds is likely to occur.

For information regarding Grapevine Cold Hardiness measurements, please visit WSU Viticulture and Enology Real-Time Grapevine Cold Hardiness Monitoring page. Further information is also available to registered users of AgWeatherNet at Grape Cold Hardiness Model

The following table shows critical injury temperatures for cherry buds for two different dates and locations. LT 10 is the temperature at which 10% of the primary buds will be killed; LT 50 and LT 90 refer to 50% and 90% bud damage, respectively.

LocationDate SampledCultivarLT 10LT 50LT 90
Prosser (Roza)December 2, 2013Bing
1.4 °F
-2.7 °F
-8.7 °F
Chelan
9.1 °F
3.2 °F
-3.5 °F
Sweetheart
10.9 °F
5.4 °F
-0.4 °F
Benton CityDecember 3, 2013Bing
6.6 °F
0.9 °F
-4.9 °F
Sweetheart
15.1 °F
7.0 °F
-1.1 °F
  • From dormancy to fruit set, the flower bud undergoes a number of developmental stages that are associated with a progressive increasing vulnerability to low temperatures.
  • Freeze tolerance was analyzed using differential thermal analysis, this technique is only effective for cherries at early stages of bud development.

Washington State University