Indexed on: 04 Aug '09Published on: 04 Aug '09Published in: Trees
For trees, the ability to obtain and maintain sufficient levels of frost hardiness in late autumn, winter and spring is crucial. We report that temperatures during dormancy induction influence bud set, frost hardiness, tolerance to cold storage, timing of bud burst and spring frost hardiness in seedlings of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.). Bud set occurred later in 12°C than in 21°C, and later in cool nights (7°C) than in constant temperature. One weekly frost night (−2.5°C) improved frost hardiness. Cool nights reduced frost hardiness early, but improved hardiness later during cold acclimation. Buds and stems were slightly hardier in 21°C than in 12°C, while needles were clearly hardier in 12°C. Cold daytime temperature, cool nights and one weekly frost night improved cold storability (0.7°C). Seedlings receiving high daytime temperatures burst buds later, and were less injured by light frost some days after bud burst.