Fruit Growers Watching Temperatures

Bags of apples donated by Thiessen Orchards. November 2014 (Photo by Kevin Black.)

The Ministry of Agriculture apple specialist says fruit growers will likely force buds open in heated buildings over the next few days to try and assess frost damage.

Leslie Huffman says apples aren’t usually damaged unless temperatures get below -29 C (-20 F) but it has already been cold enough to cause some concern for more tender fruits.

“Fruit trees in general produce way more fruit buds than they need to carry a full crop so typically we need about 5% of their buds,” she says. “I would think after this cold snap growers will be bringing some branches in and forcing the buds and evaluating it.”

Huffman also says while a lot of people are sick of the snow it is good for fruit trees because it is insulating their roots and lower trunk which are vulnerable to very cold temperatures.