Cherries are finicky trees. They don’t like it when it gets too hot, when there’s not enough rain, and when it doesn’t stay cold enough during the winter. For the last few winters, California’s cherries have had all three of these environmental stresses and responded by producing fewer cherries.
A: Deciduous plants, such as cherries, go dormant in the winter to protect themselves from the cold. Cherry trees require roughly 700-800 chill hours between the temperatures of 32–45 degrees Fahrenheit before they start to bloom. The plant relies on the temperature to know how soon, after it gets above freezing, to safely start growing again.
By Heidi Lewis
The cuckoo clock at the Greenwich Mean Time offices popped its head out at 11:02 a.m. on March 20, letting all us inside people know that it’s officially spring. For the outside world, the tightly wound mechanisms of nature's internal clock are springing plants into action. Petals and birdsong may fill the air, but spring is a delicate interval when seedlings and fruit tree blossoms establish themselves for the fruitful seasons ahead.