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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Unseasonably warm weather may cause harm for fruit trees
The combination of summer-like temperatures and impending overnight freezes has fruit growers concerned about what lies ahead.
Unseasonable 80-degree temperatures caused buds to swell, to the point where the blossoms are not far behind.
This is uncharted territory. Fruit trees that already are two to three weeks ahead of schedule, like peaches and apples.
It's a concern depending on the sequence of what happens hereafter.
There isn't immediate danger of buds freezing, but once warm weather returns, there's the problem of a prolonged frost season ahead.
Once you get into a stage for development, the temperature for damage comes up.
The biggest problem is with apple and especially peach trees that have "broken dormancy".
The question now is whether the wind will help us or hurt us. With wind chill, you get evaporative cooling. It does dry out things.
Regardless, this is a 'wait and see' scenario. Mother Nature not only threw us for a loop with her 80 degree temperatures, but only our plants and trees. It will be interesting to see what happens to all those plants and tree that broke dormancy.