Trouble for Tart Cherries

Beautiful Blossoms 5320-11
Beautiful Blossoms 5320-11, photo by StacyN – MichiganMoments

Cherry blossoms are out a full month early in Michigan, and our “Summer in March” appears to have claimed much of Northern Michigan’s 2012 tart cherry crop. Interlochen Public Radio reports:

A spring freeze last week across Northwest Michigan killed more than half of the buds on tart cherry trees. Industry officials estimate the loss for the region in the 50 to 70 percent range. Trees can produce a decent crop if a third of the buds survive. But several factors, including another freeze this spring, could still damage more of the crop before harvest.

Leelanau County saw the heaviest loss, estimated at as high as 90 percent of sour cherries killed in many orchards. But other fruit trees, like apple and sweet cherries, are in decent shape.

Antrim & Benzie county crops appear to be in better shape, but with a hard frost out there this morning, it’s probably not over yet.

Stacy took this shot last May just south of Traverse City. Check this out bigger and in her Spring slideshow.

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