Colorado orchards have best apple harvest in years

Apple growers say the weather and favorable conditions contributed to this exceptional season.

LONGMONT, Colorado – The natives of Colorado know that apple trees don’t necessarily ripen with fruit every year. In fact, growers know Colorado conditions make it less than favorable for western growing.

Despite the challenges, growers remain optimistic each year that the trees will yield a harvest. It turns out that 2021 has been the harvest many have been waiting for.

Sharon Perdue of Ya Ya Farm and Orchard in Longmont said this harvest was the best for nine years.

“It’s been an amazing apple year,” said Perdue. “I was looking back and I don’t think I’ve had a harvest like this since 2012. So it’s definitely a great year for apples. ”

Perdue grew up to understand the ups and downs of owning an orchard.

“I always hope for a happy new year. It rarely happens,” said Perdue. “I learned the hard way that in three years you will get nothing.”

Last year her apples did not grow between all the freezes and weather conditions. This year, the weather allowed the trees to flower once the frosts were over.

“This year the flowers were late because it was so cold they were really happy when they came out,” said Perdue.

The typical cold snap in September or October would usually kill the rest of the crop in the fall, but the warm conditions allowed the apples to continue growing through the fall months.

Perdue also credits the lack of a harvest last year as helping matters, saying she has noticed her trees tend to be more productive after a lean year.

Regular customers who come back every year have also noticed the difference.

“I came here about four years ago when my second daughter was born,” said Hannah Bechtold, who has brought her four children with her this time. “I remember it was a particularly bad year for them because the apple season was already over. There weren’t any apples, so it’s funny how full they are.”

Perdue currently has no reservations for U-Pick apples for the remainder of the season. However, if the apples are still on the trees in two weeks, she will open the picking to the public for all visitors. No reservation will be necessary.


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