Winter Chill for Fruit Trees in Southeast Texas 1992-2012

The attached pdf table below summarizes the accumulated chill units at every National Weather Service Weather Station in Southeast Texas between fall 1992 and fall 2012 that reported 10 or more years’ data. What the table makes clear is that all areas experience a very wide range of chilling unit accumulations from one year to the next with the last five years being a textbook case of this. The winter of 2012 was in most places the lowest chill in the last 20 years, while 2009 was one of the coldest.

In the low chill areas, fruit growers should  plant trees requiring very low chill because late frosts are very rare and the plants will fail to thrive if they get too little chill. In areas of medium high and higher chill, the dangers of late freezes are strong, so in some areas it may be best to pick trees with chill toward the center of what is possible.

The attached table lists chill unit accumulation (what once was called chill hours) by percentages of time the winter in the last 20 years had the chill listed in column headers.

Southeast Texas Chill Unit Ranges 1992-2012

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  • ieagen814  On April 25, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    I live in Willis tx. Was part if the Urban gardening group but moved to Conroe & now to Willis Tx. It is our desire to have a large garden with a variety of fruit trees. Can you help. We love 2 blocks from the Conroe lake on the upper east side of Lake Conroe. We appreciate your help. Thank you

    • ieagen814  On April 25, 2022 at 1:33 pm

      Live in Willis on Lake Conroe. Just moved, would greatly appreciate your advice on what to plant as far as fruit & nut Trees, & vegetables . We belonged to the Urban movement in Houston but moved soon after joining to Conroe tx. Now we have some land to be able to plant. Thank you for your wise advise.

      • Year-Round Gardening  On June 18, 2022 at 9:27 am

        My book Year-Round Food Gardening for Houston and Southeast Texas (2019) lists a lot of options. See the post at the top of this home page for sources. If you want to learn this in more detail sign up for Urban Harvest classes –many on line– like Growing Organic Vegetables (Jan to May twice monthly), fruit tree classes typically in winter, and the permaculture sequences starting in September on how to get the most out of property. Because you are there also, Montgomery County Master Gardeners and Ed Naspinski selling at local Farmers’ Market.

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