Current issue: 57(2)
Under compilation: 57(3)
Budburst timing and the relationship to storage temperature and duration were investigated in four varieties (entries) of 1–2 metres tall silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) trees. A total of 2,160 shoots were sampled, and the material stores in darkness at 0, 3 or 6 °C from November 29, 1993. When the shoots were placed in storage, they had been through a period of 29 days with temperatures below 0°C (since October 15). By that time the autumn dormancy was assumed already broken, and the trees were expected to respond to increased temperature by bud development. On January 4, 1994, and on four subsequent dates, January 19, February 1, March 4 and March 17, shoots were taken out of storage and set in growth chambers at 9, 12 or 15°C. The time to budburst was recorded.
Duration of storage, storage temperatures and varieties were all highly significant for budburst. The interaction terms were of less statistical importance. Based on the contrast between the three different growth chamber environments, three different methods were used to calculate the threshold temperatures for each entry. In spite of the pre-selection of variable budburst performers, the threshold values, varying between 0°C to -2°C, could not be shown to be statistically different. According to the results, the time of budburst changes in accordance with both winter and spring temperatures, being extremely early after a mild winter and warm spring, given sufficient autumn chilling. The similarities in the threshold temperatures indicate that the ranking in earliness between varieties will most likely be the same from year to year without regard to climate change.