Unseasonably warm weather affecting trees

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – As apple farmers work to prune their apple trees and prepare the buds, they say the recent warmer temperatures mean keeping an extra close eye on their crop.

After several days of close to 70 degrees, now it’s back to reality.

Even though the recent warm spell wasn’t very long, it was already enough to generate some buds. Now, some are afraid that another warm spell could cause some problems.

Pat Curran with Curran’s Orchard on Kilburn Avenue in Rockford says he’s keeping his eyes open.
“I’m watching buds, every bud is different,” says Curran.

Curran tells 23 News he isn’t worried quite yet, because the buds for most fruit trees are still dormant.

“A quick shot up and down doesn’t hurt us. But you get up there and hang there for a while, it’s gonna push these trees. And that’s something we don’t want to see,” says Curran.

Natural Resource Manager Mike Groves believes as long as we don’t reach the 70’s and 80’s too soon, it should be smooth sailing.

“Days are getting longer, temperatures are going up, it’s getting about spring time,” says Groves. “That’s why I can say with reasonably decent confidence that, you’re not in trouble yet.”

Curran says he won’t see cause for alarm unless we have another warm spell like the one back in 2012 where it warmed up to the 70’s and 80’s and apple trees budded to soon and were damaged by frost.

Groves says the warm spells aren’t an issue for animals or any other wildlife and that the only change may be some birds migrating our way a little sooner.