Regional report on southeast Michigan fruit – March 26, 2012

MSU Extension educators’ pest and fruit updates for southeast Michigan.

Today’s regional reports:

  • Southwest Michigan – Bob Tritten

Southeast Michigan – Bob Tritten, Michigan State University Extension

Southeast Michigan
Southeast Michigan

Growth of the flower buds on our fruit trees has been phenomenal this spring! Our season is running close to four weeks ahead of normal.

We experienced some freezing temperatures this morning (March 26), but none that I feel will cause damage to our fruit flower buds. However, the forecast is for more freezing temperatures tonight and tomorrow morning, with temperatures getting lower than this morning. There is the potential for damage that we may see as a result of these cold temperatures. Here is a table of predicted lows from the Enviro-weather website.

Station Low Temperature for Tuesday morning, March 27

Commerce Township
Emmett

Flint
Lapeer
Petersburg
Pigeon
Romeo

25°
24°
25°
24°
27°
22°
26°

Many of you have asked about the specific damage to fruit crops at certain temperatures. My colleague, Mark Longstroth, posted an article on the MSU Extension News website that will answer these questions titled “Freeze damage depends on tree fruit stage of development.”

For strawberry growers, I am encouraging straw mulch be left on the berries for as long as possible. Look for more details on this in tomorrow’s fruit crop update.

For blueberry growers that are capable of protecting from frost with sprinkler irrigation, we do not recommend using your overhead irrigation systems unless you have open bloom and temperatures are not supposed to drop below 24°F. Read a past Michigan Blueberry Newsletter with a good article on frost control in blueberries.

Just a quick reminder for tree fruit growers that the spring tree fruit meeting is scheduled for this Thursday (March 29) at Walli’s in Flint, Mich., with registration starting at 8:30 a.m.

Look for a complete fruit crop update tomorrow on MSU Extension News for Fruit.

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