Assessing cold damage on fruit buds

During this recent spell of continued cold weather, many sites experienced some pretty cold temperatures just as our fruit crops are in bud, in full bloom or even at petal fall.

If you are in a colder part of the state and expect more cold weather, you may be interested in this refresher about the ability of fruit buds to withstand cold temperatures at various stages of development:

Many parts of the state experienced freezes over the last couple of nights. It’s a good idea to assess how much freeze damage your flowers and buds may have experienced, especially before you make thinning decisions for tree fruit. Keep in mind that the visibe effects of freeze or frost damage may not appear until a few days after the event. The following article from Michigan State University discusses this, and has a very nice pictoral guide:

Assessing Frost and Freeze Damage to Flowers and Buds of Fruit Trees

So, what do you do with this information? As mentioned above, if you experienced some amount of bud death in apple, you may want to change up your thinning practices. For more strategies to cope with frost and freeze damage, and a discussion about this season so far -  please make sure to join us next Wednesday evening, May 20, 2020 for the Tree Fruit Webinar for Commercial Orchardists. All you need to know to sign up is here: https://extension.unh.edu/events/tree-fruit-webinar-commercial-orchardists-0