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This Week’s Weather and Orchard Pruning

Michael J. Fargione
Extension Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County-
Reprinted from the Cornell Tree Fruit Grower Alert Message of 1/28/13
With Edits from Win Cowgill for NJ

The significant cold of the last week should have helped trees develop some additional cold-hardiness in NY and Northern New Jersey. However, daytime temperatures are expected to reach the upper 40’s on Tuesday and close to 60F on Wednesday. This begins to deharden the trees.

Unfortunately, we will then drop back to very cold weather with low temperatures in the low 20’s on Thursday and in the teens on Friday through the weekend. Given these predictions, trees pruned on Tuesday-Thursday might be more susceptible to cold injury. You might want to suspend pruning Tuesday-Thursday, particularly in younger and/or more valuable blocks. Prune only the older mature apples.
We are forecast for heavy rain on Wednesday, which could make pruning quite unpleasant anyway.

Growers should be at our Tri State Fruit meeting in Hershey, PA this week anyway :-)

Its not too late to come out to the largest trade show on the east coast if even for the day.