The early fruit blossom in the Altes Land could reduce the yield this year. “The weather has left its mark all over Europe,” said Matthias Görgens, deputy head of the Jork Fruit Growing Experimental Station, which is part of the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture. “That was the earliest bloom we’ve ever had.” The warm winter months would have pushed forward the flowering dates for apples, plums, cherries and pears.

According to the municipality of Jork, the Altes Land is, with 550 businesses and 10,000 hectares of land between Cuxhaven and Hamburg, the largest contiguous fruit-growing area in Germany.

The cold spell in April had affected many trees, and in the Altes Land region, irrigation systems were used for three to five nights, protecting the blossoms with the frost, it was said. This protected apples, pears and cherries.

But this modern technology is not available in all growing areas: “Some regions in Saxony and Thuringia were hit,” said Görgens. For the plant, the cold means stress at night and during the day. We don’t yet know exactly how the harvest will develop. “But it probably won’t be a full harvest and prices could be a little higher,” says the expert.