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Farmers Wait to See if Freeze Damaged Fruit

It could be a few weeks before farmers find out if Monday night’s freezing weather damaged their fruit trees.

The trees blossomed early, putting cherries and plums and peaches in jeopardy for this upcoming season.

A chill was still in the air when Frank Winter went to check the cherry blossoms at Sidehill Orchards near Williamsport.

Thanks to a very warm month of March, many of the fruit trees were in bloom before a hard freeze set in overnight.

Now the question is, did the 22 degree night end up ruining the fruit-growing season ahead?

“Some of them that are not opened up yet, might, I said might, like I said let you know in about two weeks or three weeks,” said Winter.

If there is a saving grace for the orchard, it is that farmers said there was no frost on the ground or on the fruit trees. That is because it was quite windy, meaning everything was dry, and that might save some of the fruit on the trees, but not all of it.

“This morning I woke up, it was around 25 that was around six and a lot of times it gets colder, we didn’t see frost on grass or cars or anything,” said Beth Eck of Eck’s Orchard.

Eck pulled some plum and peach tree branches from the family orchard along Route 654 and noticed some signs that could mean Mother Nature was not to kind to the crops.

“These are some peaches I picked, they’re definitely curling, here they have some discoloration, definitely got hit,” said Eck.

Farmers in part of Lycoming County are confident, however, that their apple trees are OK no matter how cold it got at night.



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