Dwindling Tart Cherry Crop

Tart cherry bloom was earlier than normal this year; and unlike other years, this season’s bloom is not promising a bountiful harvest.

Unseasonably warm temperatures left tree fruit buds so advanced that in late March trees were damaged when exposed to a wind freeze. Since then, crop potential dwindled as flower buds were repeatedly exposed to freezing temperatures.

The last Door County cherry crop disaster occurred in 2008, with only 600,000 pounds of production out of a potential 12,000,000 pounds. It is too early to predict 2012 amounts, but its possible that production may not exceed those 2008 numbers.

Wisconsin growers are hopeful that there will be enough fruit to meet the demands of the local markets. To date, sweet cherries in the county have experienced some damage, but less extensive damage than the tart cherry crop.

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