It's almost cherry-blossom time and this year, Pritchard is in | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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It's almost cherry-blossom time and this year, Pritchard is in

This photo was taken in Jack Lewko's orchard in Naramata.
Image Credit: Submitted/Beth Cavers
April 08, 2021 - 7:00 AM

Cherry blossoms will burst into life over the next couple of weeks and, for the first time, will stretch all the way from Osoyoos almost to Kamloops.

But, just when they can be viewed in each region depends totally on the weather.

“It’s notoriously hard to predict,” said David Geen, owner of Coral Beach Farms, the biggest cherry grower in Canada.

“It’s temperature-dependent. If you get four or five days in a row of warm, sunny days, the buds will move along very rapidly. If, on those same four or five days, there’s a high of eight or ten degrees, cloudy and windy, they would just park and not move at all.”

Most of his orchards are in the Central and North Okanagan but he’s recently planted near Pritchard, 40 km east of Kamloops.

“Those are young trees,” Geen said. “Our earliest planted trees will have a small amount of bloom on them so, to be honest, those are not going to be very spectacular this year. In another year or two, they’ll have a lot of bloom on them.”

The place to start looking for cherry blooms is in the southern end of the Okanagan Valley where grower Ravi Dhaliwal expects the bloom to start in the next three or four days.

The blooms will slowly move up the valley, popping out in East Kelowna by around April 15th, about April 20 in Lake Country but not until about April 25 in the North Okanagan and Pritchard.

All times are, of course, weather-dependent. A couple of days with temperatures hitting the high teens will speed things up.

Where to see the best blooms for photos is a bit of a hit-and-miss situation as cherry orchards are scattered around the Valley.

Dhaliwal suggested driving along Road 7 between Osoyoos and Oliver because it’s safer than along Highway 97.

Beth Cavers, general manager of the B.C. Cherry Association, suggested the back roads around Summerland and the cherry orchard just below the Glenrosa overpass on Highway 97, accessed by driving down Gellatly Road.

East Kelowna is a good bet, particularly at the end of Pooley Road, along Reid Road as well as East Kelowna Road, Geen said.

Moving north, Geen recommended Oyama Road along the east side of Wood Lake.

In the North Okanagan a good choice would be above Swan Lake, possibly along Pleasant Valley Road, Geen said.

Apple trees bloom about 10 days after the cherries, Geen said.

Where is your favourite spot to find cherry blossoms? Let us know in the comments below.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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