In keeping pace with an early spring, Wisconsin’s cherry crop will be in bloom soon – about three weeks ahead of schedule.
Due to a mild spring, Door County cherry blossoms are appearing earlier this year than ever. Cherry growers are hoping that temperatures will not drop below freezing and damage the fruit buds.
The first Montmorency cherry orchards in the southern part of the Door Peninsula will begin bloom this weekend with other orchards following suit over the next two and a half weeks. This is the earliest this cherry growing region has seen blossoms. Many other major cherry growing areas of the country have experienced a similar early bloom.
An early bloom presents some major challenges for fruit growers and this crop is threatened by any cool weather that may occur over the next several weeks. Cold temperatures have already damaged fruit buds in Michigan this year and there have also been temperatures conducive to damage already on the Door Peninsula. Growers here are currently assessing the potential damage that may have occurred in the past few days.
Should temperatures fall below freezing in the days to come, it is possible this state’s crop of cherries could be reduced. In 2008, cherry growers in Door County experienced an unprecedented loss that resulted in most orchards never producing a crop large enough to harvest. Growers are hopeful that 2010 will be different.
Wisconsin Cherry Grower’s, Inc.
encourage the public to track this year’s bloom via their Website: www.wisconsincherries.org