Like so many other farmers, I am excited by the coming of Spring. However, Spring is also a time of worry for apple growers. It is the danger of a late spring frost that keeps us up at night.
The months of March and April are unpredictable. The days can get very warm and encourage the apple buds to “break” (start to open and turn pink). Suddenly, the weather can turn cold and temperatures plunge to below freezing - damaging the immature blossoms.
Usually, in my corner of Virginia, the last danger of frost is around the second week of May. The local farmers say that the threat of frost is over when the leaf of an Oak tree is the size of a mouse ear. After thirty years of growing apple trees in Virginia, I would say that's a pretty fair guess.
Nevertheless, Spring is great! Very soon the Orchards will be in full Bloom. And our native pollinators will be greedily soaking up nectar and pollen from flower-to-flower.
Over the years, I've learned that it doesn't help to worry too much about a late spring frost. Because, in the end, it's all up to Mother Nature...