Long, cold spring affecting stone fruit trees in Kamloops, Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Long, cold spring affecting stone fruit trees in Kamloops, Okanagan

Dwarf peach and nectarine trees in Kamloops, of the few that are blossoming this spring, May 13.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Nancy Donnelithe

Kamloops residents in various areas in the city are reporting their peach, nectarine and apricot trees are not blossoming as usual this spring, with Kelowna gardening enthusiasts seeing mixed results.

Most are noticing fewer blossoms on their trees, while a few report their stone fruit trees are barely producing leaves.

Kamloops resident Jolene Tinebra owns a wide variety of fruit trees. She said last year she had huge crops of apricots, cherries, plums, pears and nectarines, but not this year.

“We’re in Brocklehurst and last year’s production was incredible,” she said. “This year we had minimal short lived blossoms on the cherry and apricot trees, and only a few blossoms on the apple and plum trees. The nectarine tree is just starting to leaf out.

“On May 8 last year we already had quarter-sized apricot fruit heavily on the tree but so far this year we have no fruit on that same tree.”

READ MORE: Not all shade is the same: Gardening when there's little sun

Gardening enthusiasts with stone fruit trees in the Kelowna area are reporting mixed results with their peach, apricot and nectarine trees, according to a Facebook post. Peaches appear to be taking the biggest hit while apricots seem to be doing well and already producing fruits.

“I heard a rough rumour that peaches are having a particularly bad season this year,” said Kelowna resident Megan Dunne. “Many peach trees have decided not to bloom this spring.”

“Our peach tree had no flowers for the first time in seven years,” said Kelowna gardener Melinda Lakatos.

Anita Strong, owner of Country Garden Greenhouse has been growing trees, shrubs, vines and bedding plants in the Kamloops area since 1982. She said the reason why the stone fruit trees are not producing their usual blossoms this spring is a simple one.

“It has been too cold all spring and the trees need heat," she said. "This is the time when the pollinators are supposed to be out doing their jobs. The bees are too cold and stay in their hives.

“I think three out of the four past years have been bad for apricots because of late frosts that can follow balmy periods in January. The trees think it is spring and then get hit with low temperatures again. It’s disappointing but it's all part of the growing business."

READ MORE: Kamloops at risk of spring flooding; Okanagan not so much

The entire province has had below normal temperatures so far this spring, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 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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