Experiments were conducted to determine the chilling temperature and length of time required to break dormancy in red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.). Five weeks of 7 °C with no light was sufficient to break dormancy in `Autumn Britten', `Nova', `Polana', and `Tulameen', while at least 8 weeks were needed for `Titan'. Comparisons with various chilling unit models allowed a model to be developed that could account for the observed chilling variation. In this model, each chilling hour was weighted as follows: below 5.6 °C = 1; 5.7 to 8.0 °C = 0.5; 8.1 to 11 °C = 0; 11.1 to 13 °C = -0.5; and >13 °C = -1. Plants of `Nova' and `Tulameen' chilled before flower initiation occurred, broke dormancy, and the resulting lateral branches remained vegetative. When the plants were fruited in the greenhouse, we were able to produce a second crop on the fruiting canes when the lateral branches that had fruited were removed. These experiments show that raspberries can be manipulated so that plants chilled in mid-September in the Northern Hemisphere can be induced to fruit by the beginning of January.
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