Hoping For An Early Spring Might Be Fruitless

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Last winter was so warm, a lot of us noticed plants flowering about two weeks ahead of normal come spring. By this time last March, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom in Washington, DC, which was a pretty surprise. But other blossoms, like the sour cherries in Michigan and Wisconsin were also out early, and then got hit by a freeze and snow.

What do you care? Well, those are the cherries we love to eat in jams and cherry pies! The flowers have to be pollinated on the trees in order to produce cherries. So, when the flowers froze and fell, more than 90 percent of the Midwestern tart cherry crop was wiped out with them.

So let’s hope that after a colder winter this year, the cherries trees – and other fruits and nuts we love to eat – will bloom later in the spring like they’re supposed to, when they’re much less likely to get caught with their flowers out in the freezing weather.

If you think it’s tricky worrying about what fickle Mother Nature might do to the flowering plants in your garden, just imagine what it’s like to be the owner of an orchard.

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