WSU researchers are developing a new
measurement system to determine cold
hardiness of apple and sweet cherry buds
and blooms during early spring. The system’s
foundation is an automated freezer sampler,
pictured, that can process smaller samples
faster. (Photo by Nella Letizia, WSU)
“There is, therefore, a need to update this information using current varieties with new scientific methodologies,” she said.
Developmental stage a key factor
Temperature and time combinations tested
Gerrit Hoogenboom, AgWeatherNet
director and one of the researchers
involved in the cold hardiness study,
holds up a perforated cylinder where
samples of apple and sweet cherry
buds are placed for testing.
(Photo by Nella Letizia, WSU)
Four plastic racks inside the chamber hold perforated cylinders for samples. When samples reach a designated temperature, they are automatically released from the racks and fall through the door’s slot into a basket outside the chamber. The custom-modified freezer sampler can hold smaller cuttings of limbs and flowers and run samples overnight, thus processing more samples faster.