98 Poverty Lane, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03766

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Orchard drama is quiet but real. This time of year, it's about the buds, which contain this year's apples. Thus far they're still in winter dormancy, wrapped up tight in their smooth brown "scales." But -- it's been kind of warm up here! Which means the buds could start getting a premature message: that it's time to open. Which would be bad. Because warm days in March can be followed by sub-freezing days later in March, or in April.

If the buds open too soon, they expose tiny flower and leaf parts, which can freeze. If those tiny innards freeze in Spring - no apples in Fall! It's that simple. Every single apple has to grow from a blossom that's been pollinated in bloom - so ... you get the drama part.

That's why Steve's out looking at buds, checking that they're still dormant. The earlier varieties, such as Wickson, break dormancy first. So far, nothing's visibly happening, but we're so hoping for a steady coolish runup, right through April, to May flowering - the kind of old-school Spring weather that used to be normal. It's less normal now...

Cluster Bud Web
Therefore the close-up view of the closed-up bud looks good to us! It's not growing new white fuzz, or swelling, or acting in any way ambitious. The five potential apple blossoms packed inside are still safe. More later!