Apple Freeze Risk Tool Helps Growers

Unseasonably warm February, they now have a new tool to help ride out the storm until after crop set.

The Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions has developed a new Apple Freeze Risk decision tool.

“I think the warm weather we’re seeing this week may push the apple trees into vulnerable stages,” Art DeGaetano, Professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and Director of Cornell’s Northeast Regional Climate Center, said.

New York produces more than 29 million bushels of apples annually, employing more than 10,000 people directly and 7,500 indirectly.

Apple trees need dormancy and cold weather so that springtime buds develop properly. When early spring temperatures rise consistently above the low 40°F mark, the trees get ready to bud, said DeGaetano.

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