Bud endodormancy is a complex physiological process that is indispensable for the survival, growth, and development of deciduous perennial plants. The timely release of endodormancy is essential for flowering and fruit production of deciduous fruit trees. A better understanding of the mechanism of endodormancy will be of great help in the artificial regulation of endodormancy to cope with climate change and in creating new cultivars with different chilling requirements. Studies in poplar have clarified the mechanism of vegetative bud endodormancy, but the endodormancy of floral buds in fruit trees needs further study. In this review, we focus on the molecular regulation of endodormancy induction, maintenance and release in floral buds of deciduous fruit trees. We also describe recent advances in quantitative trait loci analysis of chilling requirements in fruit trees. We discuss phytohormones, epigenetic regulation, and the detailed molecular network controlling endodormancy, centered on SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) and Dormancy-associated MADS-box (DAM) genes during endodormancy maintenance and release. Combining previous studies and our observations, we propose a regulatory model for bud endodormancy and offer some perspectives for the future.