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Warm winter could be 'devastating' to area orchards


Fruit experts in Michigan say they're concerned about the state's fruit trees and bushes getting their buds out too early due to the unusually warm weather. Michigan State University Extension Service fruit educator Mark Longstroth says the warm temperatures will be "a little worrisome," if the buds start waking up and thinking its Spring already in the region's peach trees and apricot orchards. Longstroth says that if the buds start swelling now, they could be vulnerable to cold temperatures later this spring. 

Steve Tennes, owner of Country Mill Orchard says that an early spring could be devastating. He says he tries to prevent the trees from budding and lessen the risk of a total loss by using frost fans and experimenting with misting.

February may end up being the warmest ever recorded in West Michigan. The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids says there were only two other recorded February’s that come close in the past century.

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