The angst of an early spring segues to the despair of late, hard frost

There is so much else to go into high anxiety about right now, but a spring that seems almost a month earlier than last has me near panic mode. J. plums and cots are only a couple weeks from flowering here in S.NY and CT.

The long term forecast holds the possibility of getting lucky and avoiding crop killing frost, but long term weather prediction is about as reliable as predicting the stock market.

What I also hate is having so many chores condensed into so little time. I spent almost the whole day cutting and packing graft wood- something I could usually have had 3 more weeks to do gradually. I would rather have been working on pruning peaches and plums in other peoples orchards.

If we get that late killing frost, the season will turn out quite leisurely though. I almost look forward to that… almost.


I’ve been sitting here fooling around with scion swaps and literally got a mini panic attack as well… right before I read your post, which made me laugh.


It’s a good thing I am two weeks ahead on my pruning as the weather is also two weeks ahead!

So far it is looking like no low temps til my usual apricot bloom time so I am getting cautiously optimistic for my orchard.


The weather here looks promising for March but of course April is always so wishy washy and sometimes it is cause for a roller coaster of emotions :man_facepalming:


You don’t think we’ll get a late March snow?


I don’t think anything except that we’ve entered Oz.


I don’t believe we will get snow here but hey I have been known to be wrong :laughing: Of course I am sure I can get as close as your average weatherperson :thinking: :grin:


Well, I am opposite to Scott. I kept thinking this warm weather trend would not last. So, I did not do anything until this past weekend when I realized that plums are at tip green, pears are at bud scales separating, etc.

I am behind again. The next 7 day forecast shows no freezing temp. Well, spring has arrived almost a month ahead.


The only thing that concerns me is… Just remember March 2012, and then April. It was slightly colder than March!

We escaped the hard April freezes here, but some places a bit further north actually got hit hard.


Or 2008 when all the Japanese maples got bit, along with many other things.
Or 1989 when there was no apple crop.
Or 1991 when there was 2" snow for the Kentucky Derby in May.

1 Like

The week predicted ahead is mild by April standards. Sometimes I have a lot of difficulty getting an adequate frost-free window in mid-april to do my oil rounds. I could do them this week.

5 years ago, I would have predicted crop failure with the emergence of such an early spring. Now all bets are off, although I can’t say why I believe that is so without entering the world of politics.

So I won’t.


Have you noticed a correlation between catastrophic spring freezes (after a sharp early warmup) and a drought that summer? I have seen at least an anecdotal correlation. Happened in 2007 and 2012 at least.

1 Like

im glad in this way, for our snowpack. keeps everything good and dormant until it stays 40f and higher then it melts quickly. if we didn’t have it to buffer this warm winter we would be having the same issues you guys are having. seems for this way at least, a snowy winter has its advantages.


I agree that it has been difficult to keep up with all the chores of preparing the garden and pruning and planting seeds because of how early spring has come. I can remember over the past years easing into the season, but I’ve been out doing things every night for two weeks now. I’m tired!

1 Like

Apricots are almost through blooming,with most Plums and Pluots near full flower,along side the Peaches and Nectarines.

Now,it looks like the PNW is getting a ticket for this weekend,on the roller coaster called the Arctic Express.I’ve seen a weather service low for 16F on Saturday night.Things are changing and being revised,with most predicting around 26-28F for three consecutive days,so hopefully the damage will be


It’s about the same here. Not as much snow, but enough to protect everything. It looks awesome so far. Buds are just swelling, right on time. Looks like flowers maybe April 15th which is on time, or even a couple weeks late. April 1st is the norm here, but I have seen it as late as May 1st. So we are having a rather ho-hum middle of the road year.


We are running approximately two to three weeks ahead of normal.

Not as much as it looked like we would have, because we had a few shots of chilly weather at the end of February that slowed things down a bit.

However, my peaches are in the pink stage, and since our average low as of today is still 32, it’s a while before we are truly out of the woods.

Coldest low temp in the forecast is 30°F, which shouldn’t hurt anything at this stage.

If we have a spring like 2012 or 2016, we will be fine. If it’s like ‘07, no.

1 Like

Going by bloom time most of most stuff is about where it should be even with the warm winter we had, I believe that cold weather we got at the end of February you mentioned is what held all of mine off. I have only been growing fruit trees since 2012 so I didn’t pay as much attention to the weather as far as that goes. I did pay attention to it for gardening or for work but just not for fruit production.


Sunday’s forecast low just dropped to 28. Still probably ok, but getting a bit worrisome if many blooms open by then.

1 Like

My peaches are at red calyx, one pear has a few bud bursts and a few tight clusters, and my plum is at swollen bud. All apples are quiet, except my precocious Alkmene, it’s showing some swollen buds. A couple pluots have some swollen buds with a few white buds showing.

The pear (fifth leaf, big 15ft tree) that appears to be starting to bloom has never fruited before. I don’t know what variety it is, hope I get to try a few fruit despite the early blooming. Most of the tree is still pretty quiet.

Berry plants seem to be quiet, except for some thornless blackberries peeking out some tiny buds.

No freezing temps forecast for the next 10 days, high temps running between 55-65, and somewhat rainy next week. So I assume the buds will continue to progress.

Guess I missed dormant spraying of my peaches, considering they’re almost at red calyx? It kinda snuck up on me.

1 Like