Posted by Nick Roster on 6/3/2013 to General News
On one of my last trips to our fruit processor, I asked how the orchards are fairing. I was thinking that this spring had been going pretty well. But perhaps there were too many rainy days. If I learned anything from "Bee Movie," it was that bees can't fly in rain. And the spring of 2011 was too wet, and the bees couldn't pollinate the trees correctly. That year sweet cherries took the hit. And of course, last year sweets and tart cherries were decimated.
So I casually mentioned the rain and bees. Keith told me that at that point farmers were actually beginning to pull their beehives out of the orchards. I was a bit shocked. So I asked why. Keith mentioned that there was a concern of too much fruit being produced this year.
Too much fruit?! Never! I said. But actually, each tree has an optimal fruit-to-leaf ratio. If there is too much fruit on the tree, the tree won't actually have enough energy to ripen the fruit. The cherries would be soft and have less flavor. We wouldn't want that... Long story short, barring other weather related catastrophes, the crop should be great this year... knock on cherry wood.
It's always fun to ask questions, and I never seem to stop learning something new about growing cherries in northern Michigan.