Freezing frost during bloom


Myself, wife ,son and friend went up and weeded around our fruit trees as well as fertilized, mulched and trimmed them. We found a discouraging situation. We had several apple trees we were expecting our first fruit on this year. However a freezing frost during bloom time killed all the buds. Our Dunstan chestnut trees had a major leaf kill. The pears appear to have been spared. Our 4 white oaks are doing great also. Found fresh bear scat in our clover patch. All in all a lot of hard work was accomplished in a picture perfect day to be doing what we enjoy. Just before leaving I found a chipmunk trying to keep his head above water trapped in our rain barrel. I retrieved a 5 gallon bucket and fished him out. I put him in the sun to warm up and recover. The way he was shivering I didn’t think he would make it. While we were stowing our tools and gear we kept checking on it and it was coming around. As we were leaving it jumped up and ran under the cabin. Made me think and realize nature can be cruel and unforgiving but given a helping hand the outcomes can be improved.
The situation you mentioned is one of the best reasons to have a lot of diversity in fruit and nut crop plantings. The timing of freezes in the spring can leave you with a failure in one species but not hurt another. Even diversity within the same species is important. Last year we had a mediocre apple crop and a heavy pear crop. This year that has reversed with the apples being great. Persimmons were so strong last year that they were breaking limbs, but a late freeze this year has the crop down to maybe 25%.

Also, planting disease resistant varieties will go a long way in leading to successful growing.