Some Apple Growers Remain Optimistic 

Some New England apple growers say it’s the earliest bloom they’ve ever seen – and that’s what has them worried.The unusually warm weather in early April had fruit trees blossoming two to three weeks ahead of schedule on average.That’s left plenty of time on the calendar for the region’s notoriously unpredictable weather to strike back with a killer freeze.But some local growers are remaining optimistic.”So when we bring the bees in, the hives will go right here.”For the past 30 years bees have been brought to Mainely Apple’s orchard in mid-May to begin pollination.”I’m keeping an eye on everything, but it’s probably gonna be a week to 10 days earlier.” John and Elaine Olsen were pruning their trees on bare ground back in March. John even recalls doing the work in a t-shirt.”This is the earliest bloom ever.”And with more than 1,600 trees, the couple has a lot to lose if the weather doesn’t cooperate.”Ideally I’d like it not to go below 32 till next October.””Alright, we’ll tell Todd that.””Yeah. Let Todd know.””Inside here is where the flower buds are and they’re well protected so the temp can get a little colder.”Apple growers are at the mercy of mother nature, but even if the temps were to dip down into the teens Olsen says at this stage things should be fine.”What I’d like to see now is this growth stage not get to prevalent. We don’t want to see blossoms out here end of April beginning of May.” A good sign Olsen has seen is the most recent change.”I’ve noticed over the last week or so things have slowed down because it’s been cool and damp. We had an inch of snow here Saturday morning.”So for now, all these orchardists have is optimism.