Strange weather - Will it get our blooms and fruit?

Bees start flying when the temperatures are above 50 degrees.

This looks insane.

NWS La Crosse jumping on the heatwave train:

[quote]Snow cover
roughly 1 to 6 inches across the forecast area, and expect a lot (if
not most) of that to melt off over the next several days. With skies
looking mostly sunny for the weekend, and eliminating the snow cover,
the setup is ripe for highs more reminiscent of early April rather
then mid February. The EC is a lot more aggressive with its warming,
suggesting some 60 degree temps are possible. The GFS is 10 degrees
colder while also showing quiet a spread in its ensemble members
(for instance, from 51 to 30 for highs on Sat at La Crosse).
Eitherway, much above normal. Will start with the model blend for
temps, but increase a bit toward the warm EC.[/quote]

Pulling the thongs out this week…time to sun this white pasty midwest bod.


Well, let’s hope the models are right, because once we get into March we go into a more seasonable-to-cold mode. Though this can’t be good. But it is also a month out, so not a definite forecast, just hopefully an indication of the trend.

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The weather channel has us with lows of 31 on Tuesday and Wednesday then highs go up between 60 and 70 degrees with lows above 40. I checked and my Nankings were at full bloom March 14 last year. I bet some will bloom in the next week if it keeps this up and and they could be at full bloom by March.

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We are fairly close in location and I’m feeling more than concerned about fruit this year. See this post from last year. Here come the blooms In Kansas - A calm day to spray before the rain.

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Interesting… Well some of you may have the earliest fruit ever or no fruit at all. Hard to say at this point. Play it week by week. Say a prayer nightly, sacrifice small animals, etc etc… I think Feb is pretty much locked in… time to figure out what March brings.


I bet we are two weeks ahead of that this year if the weather stays the same. I wish I knew what are last frost date was last year, I bet it was in mid April

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I’m an hour and a half or so from olpea and things are starting to swell.


Mine are swelling a little and I don’t like it much. Wonder how Olpea is doing on his orchard.

Any bloomers yet? I would imagine the apricots would be the first to go of the fruit trees?

Can you all believe this? This is INSANE! This is a pluot that bloomed in LATE MARCH last year!!! This is February 14 and this thing is almost in full bloom! It had major bud swell (you could see the white) on January 31!!! Where I live on the TN/KY border, it is a virtual certainty that we will have freezing temps several times over the next 2 months, so its highly doubtful I’ll get any fruit from this tree this year. Many of my other trees are also showing major bud swell and are way, way ahead of schedule. Very strange weather, indeed.

BTW…this situation makes me question the whole “chill hour” concept. We had incredibly warm weather all the way up until Christmas- we barely got below 50 degrees, which is very strange. Same thing has been true ever since New Years- most days have been remarkably warm. So, on a common sense level, I can understand how a tree might “think” this warm weather signifies a spring warming. But we all know that supposedly a tree “knows” when to bloom based on whether or not it has experienced a certain number of “chill days” (hours, actually). Under that theory, it makes no sense that in a year where we have had almost all warm days the trees would bloom early. To the contrary. If the accumulation of chill hours is what triggers blooms/end of dormancy, then years like this where we have had very few cold days (ie very few chill hours) then shouldn’t the trees be blooming LATER than usual instead of earlier? Shouldn’t’ they still be waiting for the accumulation of the magic number of chill days/hours? But the reality in my orchard is that in a year when we have had a shockingly low number of chill hours/chill days (very few days below 45 or so degrees), my trees are all breaking dormancy earlier than ever.

Don’t get me wrong- I know I- an inexperienced grower- am not going to dispell established scientific theory/establishment with one year of strange weather, but it is curious observation that I’d enjoy seeing discussed/answered.

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My multigraft plum/pluot is also starting to bloom now. This one is in a container though so I should be OK by bringing it into the garage if we get a freeze threat. Peaches are still holding off but look like they’re starting to swell a little. We’re predicted to hit 32F tomorrow night but after that, it’s back to warmer weather. Hopefully we don’t get any really late frosts this year.

What pluot do you have blooming @thecityman? I’m a little south of you and I got a little over 650 chill units from the Utah model so I’d guess you probably got a little more than that? I’d expect that is probably enough chilling for most of the pluots.

I had thought about that…just because it “seems” we haven’t had many chill hours doesn’t make that the case, and as you pointed out, many pluots have very low requirements that probably have been met. But I still would have thought that it at least took longer than usual to meet them, not faster than usual as the early blooms would suggest. And almost all my trees are ahead of schedule, including those with much longer chill hour requirements. That is why it seems like it is the warm weather triggering the end of dormancy and not the accumulation of chill hours. But as you say, my casual observations of what it “seems” like has happened this year is far from empirical evidence and therefore isn’t much of a scientific rebuttal to the chill hour concept.
BTW…to answer your question about which pluot that is, its a very long story, but evidence suggests its called Dragon Tear and is one that wasn’t supposed to be sold except to licensed commercial growers. Here is the story:

According to the calculator, I have received 377 chill hours under utah method as off 3 days ago when my tree first bloomed.

I’d check a few other stations. Your north of Nashville, right? I checked a station in Springfield (don’t know how close that is to you… KTNSPRIN41) and it got about 750. The station you checked might not be reporting accurately.

MY Pluots are a little ahead of my Apricots and Aprium this year. Flavor Supreme and Grenade

I looked over Nashville weather during Dec and Jan just past. Your area has had lots of chilling. Way more than enough for pluots. Most pluots would have been fully chilled by Jan 1. So any warm weather since has been pushing bloom.

In your area warm days, above normal for winter, have good chilling at night. Cold days have good chilling during the daylight hrs. Most pluots don’t need much chilling.

I’ve had outdoor, low-chill nectarines blooming in January the last three yrs.

The Utah model is for cold winter areas, like Utah, and and higher chilling fruits than pluots.

All are fair comments that make sense. And clearly there IS something wrong with my station. Springfield is about 8 miles from me (good guess!) so if it shows that many hours, my station 8 miles away can’t be that different. SO like I said…just because it seems abnormally warm, that doesn’t mean we haven’t actually gotten a fair number of chill hours. So I guess that explains things. Thanks.