Early spring for Michigan fruit

Summer-like weather in March caused rapid fruit development in Michigan.

Summer-like weather in March, with highs near 80 and lows in the 60s, caused rapid bloom of fruit trees that normally bloom in April and May. In southern Michigan from March 19-23, a different fruit species opened every day. The hot, dry conditions during bloom made early pollination of the flowers very important to set fruit. The cool weather in late March has slowed tree growth and trees are now stressed by the cool soil temperatures. Hard freezes with temperatures below 28 degrees F are common in April, so the early bloom does not mean an early or abundant harvest.

This has been a major concern for Michigan State Universtiy (MSU) Extension fruit educators and commercial fruit growers.

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