Written by  Ken Gaudion

Adapt to changing cherry seasons

Flowering cherry blossom in Japan heralds the beginning of spring and celebrations that go back centuries.
Flowering cherries in Kyoto normally blossom during April; this season the bloom peaked prior to the end of March—the earliest for 1200 years.

The early blooms have captivated the interests of climate activists and researchers across the globe that view it as another indicator of climate change.
And as the years progress, more data might come out from the Japanese Meteorological Agency, as they’re continuing to monitor the weather conditions during cherry blossom season.
Cherry seasons around the globe
What might this mean for timing of the cherry season in Australia and other sweet cherry producing countries?
Information from USA indicates that their season start could be seven to ten days later than average.
So from this we might assume that each cherry growing region is subject to its own micro-climate and that the season start will depend on the usual climate variants: soil temperature, soil moisture, chill hours or chill units, degree days from blossom to harvest and other factors.
Orchard management & time to harvest
Use of reflective film to increase light and improve fruit colour can also lead to an earlier harvest.
Netting, although installed to cut pest damage, may reduce the ultra violet rays from the sun reducing damage and slightly delaying harvest.
Sprays that protect cherries from sun damage such as clay-based material may also delay the start date of picking.
Anti-cracking sprays and similar may have an effect on ripening.
Harvest may also be delayed by about four days by use of rest-breaking sprays.
Application of GA sprays (gibberellic acid) can delay harvest and increase size and firmness.
Adapt to changing climate
We have to live and work with the climate wherever we produce cherries, and use the tools we have available in order to adapt to, and change with the climatic conditions in order to produce the best results for our industry.

See this article in Tree Fruit April 2021