Well finally after a very cold march the weather is starting to warm up. Development of apples and pears has been delayed or held up, but now they are developing quickly.
March 2020 was colder than usual. At Fort Langley the mean temperature for the month of March was 6.7°C in 2018, 7.8°C in 2019 and 5.7°C in 2020. The maximum temperatures were 17 in the last three days have seen temperatures reach daytime highs of 19 degrees. The forecast is for highs to stay in the 16°C to 19°C for the next week so our fruit trees are going to change quickly.
Mason bees emerge at about 14 degrees Celsius so so they have been slow until now. I live in a area near highway #1 in Langley without honey bees and very few types of bees. I am working at populating the area with Mason bees. The issue this year is that the apricots and peaches that I am growing in 15 – 20 gallon containers up against my house bloomed over the last 10 days without any pollinators. Peaches and most apricots are self fruitful so I have been working at human powered pollinating.
Now my sweet cherries (Lapins and Rainier spirals in the same container) are starting to bloom as are my Asian pears. My mason bees are just getting started. I have started hand pollinating the cherries first flowers of the Asian pears while I wait for the mason bees to get going. I can do this as I have ready sources of pollen. The Lapin cherries are self pollinating, the Rainiers are not self pollinating. the lapins is a great pollen donor for the Rainier so without bees all I have to do in move the pollen from the Lapin to the Rainier and the trees are growing in the same pot.
Bud Stages and Potential Frost Damage: We are in the middle of bloom and things are moving very quickly during the few hours of each day that it is warm. On the flip side the closer to full bloom that we get the more sensitive the blossoms are to frost injury. At my place in Walnut Grove (Langley) it was -2°C. Have a look at these two articles on my website about bud stages and potential frost damage: https://www.richardhallman.ca/blog/ This article contains the following links on related topics:
- The development of fruit trees, insects, diseases and other organisms depends on how warm the spring has been (growing degree days)
- For bud stage charts click on the type of fruit: apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries
- Another great source is this publicationfrom Cornell University, they call them “Growth Stages”.