CLAYTON, NJ -- Washington, DC, has its cherry blossoms, and Gloucester
County in New Jersey has its peach blossoms. As temperatures rise, pretty
pink and light red pink blossoms are opening in all their splendor.
Gloucester County is the number one peach-producing county in New Jersey
and one of the major ones in the United States. Approximately 4,600 acres of
peach trees come alive each April with a variety of small to large showy and
non-showy pink blossoms.
"We've had a good winter -- not too cold but just right -- to over winter a
full crop of flower buds on most trees," Jerry Frecon, agricultural agent with
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station's Cooperative Extension
of Gloucester County, said in an April 7 press release. "Even though we may
not be ready to have them bloom, our trees know when it is time to wake up,
flower and begin producing tiny peaches."
About 15-20 percent of the flowers are needed to make a full crop of fruit,
"so we can use some natural thinning if a slight amount of sub freezing
temperatures occur," he added. "We are about 10 days to two weeks ahead of
our normal bloom schedule, so statistically there is a higher probability of low
temperature injury this early."