Everyone we talk to has commented on the temperature fluctuations of this winter. Damage will happen as we get closer to trees budding up and leafing out. Temperatures swinging from 60’s and 70’s for prolonged periods then dipping into the 20’s are the most dangerous. In the past we have lost tree fruit crops if the flowers froze and the pollinators are unable to do their job. We have also lost magnolia and cherry blossoms if they are pushed out too fast and freeze.
Last year, despite the long cold winter, 2015 was the perfect spring for apples. A long dry mild spell let the pollinators do their job, and the dry conditions reduced the fungal diseases that apples and crabapples can be susceptible to, specifically cedar apple rust.