Understanding how temperature and other variables affect the timing of trees blooming and leafing-out is important to increasing grower efficiency in the present and sustaining productivity in the coming century of changing climate conditions.
By providing growers with a model that can predict the timing of bloom and leaf-out in their orchards many weeks in advance, growers can more precisely time management events such as when to order bees for pollination or when to apply fungicide sprays.
By projecting how forecasted future temperatures changes will affect growing conditions, breeding efforts can begin to create cultivars that will tolerate and thrive in such conditions, and growers and investors can begin to consider what crops we’ll be able to grow where in the future.
Research by Katherine Jarvis-Shean and collaborators in the Brown, DeJong, and Zhang labs at UC Davis is integrating the effects of winter and spring temperatures and other environmental variables to mathematically model when trees bloom and leaf-out, and how well they’ll bloom under future conditions.
This most detailed project of its kind for orchard species globally will allow growers to increase efficiency and profit in the present, and allow California to plan ahead for future conditions to create an adapted, resilient industry that continues to be a global leader in tree crop production.
Pistachio: Fruit formation and leaf-out