Sunday, February 18, 2018

February thaw threatens fruit harvest

47 degrees (Fahrenheit) tomorrow. 63 on Tuesday; 69 on Wednesday, and 44 on Thursday.

Photo: MChance666 (CC BY-SA 4.0), via Wikimedia Commons

That's the current extended forecast for apple country in Massachusetts from the National Weather Service. After tonight, there are no evening lows in the forecast below 40° F.

The problem with April temperatures in February is that a refreeze is very likely.

If 60-degree weather wakes up the fruit trees to the point where sap flows and buds develop, a frost could kill the summer and fall harvest before it even blossoms.

Here are a few more high temperatures for Wednesday from the forecast. Concord NH: 67°. Augusta, ME: 62°. Ithaca, NY: 67°.

Buds are less vulnerable than blossoms, and the less the buds form the better. If things cool back down fast and far enough to stop bud development, perhaps the trees will be able to withstand the rest of the winter.

The temperatures threaten both pome fruit, which includes apples and pears, and stone fruit such as peaches and cherries.

1 comment:

  1. Definitely don't want the trees to wake up in February. There's always one more bite from winter to come.


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