Orchards all over the state of Maine have marked the start of the apple-picking season this weekend, but experts say crops may need some time to catch up. Tree fruit specialist for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Renae Moran, said this year’s crop looks good, despite the prediction it will be “less than average.” She said a cold spring hampered pollination, which delayed ripening of the fruit by about 10 days.
“It was cold when the trees were in bloom,” she said. Domestic beehives were not as active because of the chill, and wild pollinators had to carry more of the load than usual.
Based on forecasts, Moran said, there are no weather events on the horizon that could stop apple season abruptly, and cold weather should hold off long enough for orchard owners to get all of their apples picked by mid-October.