APPLETON, N.Y. (WIVB) - From speaking to different orchards, News 4 has found that the amount of damage fruit trees suffered in the bitter cold nights in April varied greatly by area.
"If you look around at our fruit, everything is damaged to some extent. The real question is how badly or how much of a crop is still left on the trees. Really we need about a week or two weeks to really sort everything out for the trees to decide what they are going to do," said Jim Bittner, owner of Singer Farms.
Becker Farms said that their cherries and peaches didn't do well, while their apples and strawberries would just be reduced.
There was less damage closer to the lakes and damage even varied on the same trees.
Debbie Breth, a Fruit Specialist for the Cornell Cooperative Extension, said, "The apples, for instance. They came into bloom much earlier than we have ever experienced, however, we are seeing some differences in the developmental stages even on the same tree. We still have viable blossoms coming out even though we have on the same branch some that have already dropped all of their petals."
The biggest hit came in the cold stretch at the end of April. The trees had bloomed and the blooms had frozen and will not be able to be pollinated. What really hurt was that the month of March ended up being warmer than April was.
Bittner said, "People ask about what the price will do and it probably will not change a whole lot because most of the things we grow are grown in other places and will just be shipped in. But we won't have any trouble selling fruit that we have."
He added that they will have about half the normal crop, but that doesn't mean that they can charge double the price.
Also, most orchards won't know the full extent of the damage until June when the fruit starts to grow.
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