realinterrobang (realinterrobang) wrote,

Save the Apples and the Maple Syrup!

I was talking with a cab driver the other day about climate change, and something came up I haven't heard too many people talk about. If the local climate gets to the point where we no longer have much of a winter, this is going to mess up at least two valuable local crops -- apples and maple syrup. If apple trees don't have a hard freeze for a fairly long time (some weeks), they don't make flowers the next year, and if there isn't a cold period to make maple trees go dormant, the sap doesn't run the way it usually does in the spring, so no maple syrup.

He knew about the apple problem because he's Lebanese and mentioned that when farmers in Lebanon tried to start growing apples, they found they couldn't get the trees to produce in the lowlands because it never got cold enough; the only places you can grow apples in Lebanon are in the mountainous high altitudes. It's the same with apples in Israel, as I learnt some time ago, although there is an Israeli apple cultivar called Anna that can produce fruit with a "very low chill requirement of less than 300 hours." That's 12.5 days of cold temperatures.

It's 14 November as I write this. The Weather Office tells me that the average high for today should be 7.2C. It's supposed to go up to 11 today and 12 tomorrow, and maybe even 15 on Thursday. *sigh*
Tags: canada, hmm, israel, ontario, plants, politics, science!, weather

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