Warm winter leaves
fruit trees, plants at risk
By Steve Leer
February 16, 2012
An unusually warm winter in Indiana could be setting up fruit trees, berry plants and vineyards for crop damage if frost occurs this spring, say Purdue University Extension fruit production specialists.
Mild temperatures in much of December, January and February have caused fruit-bearing species to move through winter dormancy weeks ahead of schedule, said Peter Hirst and Bruce Bordelon. Already, most Indiana peach trees and grapevines have accumulated enough hours of winter rest that buds will begin growing with the next extended period of 50-plus degree Fahrenheit weather.