Warm temperatures could impact fruit trees in Utah

Jan 29, 2018, 6:23 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY – Weather watchers are expecting an unseasonably warm and dry weather in the near future.  What kind of long-term impacts could we see from this warm winter?

The problem isn’t so much the lack of precipitation.  National Weather Service Hydrologist Brian McInernie says last year’s storm totals put Utah’s northern reservoirs in good shape.  “The water supply is doing pretty well.  We don’t want to put [dry years] back to back to back like we saw in years past.  If we just have one low year, we’ll be ok.”

However, farmers in the central and southern parts of the state could see a lot of issues, and be shorted in their water allocation.  “They have so little storage, compared to the north, and they’ve got way less snow,” he says.  He believes the only thing that would change this is a large weather event, which they don’t see coming in the forecast.

Gardeners and farmers will have to keep a close eye on their fruit trees.  Bland Tree Experts Arborist Larry Beck says this is the kind of season that tricks the trees into blooming early.  “The temperatures have been in the 40’s and they’re going to be in the 50’s, so it’s possible,” he says.

If a freeze happens after the trees blossom, the fruit on that tree could die.  Other gardeners say commercial farms have methods to try and protect their crops, but, many residents don’t.

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Warm temperatures could impact fruit trees in Utah