H.M. Hiirsalmi, T.P. Hietaranta
The exceptionally hard winter 1986 – 1987 caused great damage to the highbush blueberries grown in the Department of Horticulture at Piikkiö. Even the two best American cultivars ‘June’ and ‘Rancocas’, which usually tolerate the Finnish winter moderately well, suffered severely. These now and then occurring exceptionally cold winters prevent cultivation, which otherwise could be possible in the southern parts of Finland. The lowbush blueberry species are less susceptible to frost damage, because they are sheltered from the cold by the snow cover.

Another reason for severe winter injuries is blueberry canker caused by the fungus Fusicoccum putrefaciens Shear. Infections are very common and shoots damaged by this disease are susceptible to frost damages.

In oder to improve the resistance to blueberry canker and the winter hardiness of the highbush blueberry, it has been crossed with the bog blueberry, Vaccinium uliginosum L. One seedling was chosen out of the progeny of the back-cross ‘Rancocas’ x (V. uliginosum L. x ‘Rancocas’) and this was given the variety name ‘Aron’ in the spring 1982. The winter 1986 – 1987 injured the shoots of ‘Aron’ only slightly, but its flower buds were for the most part destroyed.

Hiirsalmi, H.M. and Hietaranta, T.P. (1989). WINTER INJURIES TO HIGHBUSH AND LOWBUSH BLUEBERRIES IN FINLAND. Acta Hortic. 241, 221-226
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.241.35

Acta Horticulturae