Early Spring has Virginia Orchard Growers Bracing for a Freeze

“Welcome to the Little Ice Age!” says reader Caroline Snyder.

“As a farmer here in the Lakes and Mountains of West Virginia, a flip-flop winter (following the flip-flop “slow” jet stream) like this really affects us badly! ”

“Our plums, fooled by a few warm days, have JUST started to open buds. This weekend, every plum, pear and peach blossom will be hammered, which means NO fruit. .. and I am SURE lots of other farmers feel like me right now!  Of course, I suspect that MOST of them are blaming it on “Climate Change.”


Note: A forecast yesterday warned that temperatures are expected to drop to minus 5C (23F) as far south as Tennessee and North Carolina, and as low as -20C (-4F) in Virginia.

Also, forecasters are calling for accumulating snow as far south as Tennessee and North Carolina on Saturday night and Sunday.


Thanks to Caroline Snyder and Gordon Broussard for these links


11 thoughts on “Early Spring has Virginia Orchard Growers Bracing for a Freeze”

  1. if youre lucky the trees will rebud, from what ive experienced if they get hit in very early stages they tend to retry
    later after blossom opens and pollinated they dont.

    • Possibly.. from my experience with apple trees in the UK, we got maybe 20% of the original buds.. fortunately, our apple trees here are still dormant, unlike further south and west.

  2. You need to get a water sprinkler on that orchard to protect those buds. A coat of ice will help protect those buds.

    • Spraying/sprinkling water in this way can do more damage than harm if it is not done properly. Itis generally used by commercial fruit (eg strawberry and citrus) growers when they apply high volumes of water by sprinkler irrigation. The rate of application should be at least 1/4 inch per hour from what I have read for cold protection, but relative humidity is very important, long with the effects of wind chill because with very low temperatures,high winds or low humidity, more water must be applied to get adequate effect. Inversion layers must also be considered.

      Fans and heaters also.. some growers have even resorted to helicopters to “mix” the air layers, and keep it moving around the trees or plants, but that gets VERY expensive!

      EXCELLENT ARTICLE! http://fruitgrowersnews.com/article/protecting-your-fruit-from-frost-and-freeze/

  3. They can brace all they like but their production will vary from zero to minimal.
    Sorry guys but global cooling will wipe you off the map.
    I just lost a great deal of production yesterday, the 9th of the 3rd 2017.
    We had very localised storm, my family approaching 70 and with widespread experience said they have never seen wind like this and believe me I have seen some !
    Global cooling weather just continues to worsen and there’s a long way to go yet.
    Al the best to you.
    Stephen Bird

    • Stephen, I sure hope you’re right about any sort of global cooling. Here in east Texas all we’ve had this past fall and winter, except for maybe 3 days in Jan., has been unseasonably warm to even hot temps. I’ll be turning 70 this year and honestly don’t ever remember seeing such weather as what we’ve just had this past 6 months.

      • It’s likey been more result of the pattern that been set up we had a strong west qbo which gave us a progressive pacific flow pattern which tended to cut off the cold from coming south preventing the blocking from setting up correctly. Doing the ice ages Texas only cooled I beleave only a few degrees so climate there really wasn’t much different than it is today temperature wise.

      • You will need to go back seven or more generations to 1777 to understand what the climate is going to do over the next 30 years. It will then be followed by a Gleissberg period similar to 1890 to 1914.
        The first real losses will be the vineyards around the Great lakes, they will either have to replant with varieties more frost and cold hardy or change business model entirely. Highland farming areas to the south will next be affected. This will be in sync as the Tree line moves further south with the changing cooling climate and warming will be a thing of the past, and CO2 will continue to rise to the consternation of the IPCC.
        In the UK I expect the ability to grow open air commercial grapes – for wine will shrink from the Midlands to the Southern Counties within the next 5 years.
        Yet Grapes were grown for wine in Scotland during the Medieval Warm Period, and yet the Green Warmists say the MW Period never happened, and it was a regional area abnormality. Yet at the abrupt end of MW Period, Green land creased to be capable of normal Icelandic style farming and the colony died out though famine, cold and ice.

  4. Yes publicity hermits like Al Gore who clearly thought he had made a giant mistake with CO2 will soon emerge blinking into triumph claiming the bad weather of our new ice age is his climate change.

  5. The title and article are a bit misleading… Virginia and West Virginia are two different states.. with a lot of mountains in WV.

    On the other hand, where I live (in Virginia) we have been getting extreme fluctuations. For example, yesterday’s high was 73F, but tonight it will get down to 29F… it’s been bouncing back and forth like that for weeks.

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