Ontario apple growers experiencing bounce-back season

Last year's drought can actually be partially credited for a bumper crop of apples across Ontario.

Drought last summer gave trees chance to 'rest'

Great year for apples in Ontario

CBC News: Ottawa at 6:00

8 years ago
After a miserable 2012 growing season apple farmers across the province are overjoyed this year. 2:14

Last year’s drought has given way to a potential bumper crop of apples across Ontario.

Farmers said trees have a natural way to help themselves recover from bad weather, as happened last summer when some lost as much as 80 per cent of their crops.

They also said apple trees are only supposed to produce a crop every two years, so the chance to "rest" in 2012 is paying off this year.

"The blooms were all killed off. When that happens the trees set up a big bloom for the next year, so they had a huge blossom," said Phillip Lyall, co-owner of Mountain Orchard near Ottawa.

"They took the summer off last year – they were able to relax, take it easy, which gives the trees time to set up fruit buds for the next year," said Shelly Lyall.

Early start to picking season in Ottawa

The Ontario Apple Growers association said many orchards are literally overloaded with apples, which can mean broken off branches or tipped-over trees if enough rain falls.

Shelly Lyall of Mountain Orchard says apple trees were able to 'take last summer off.' (CBC)

Farmers whose crops survived the spring frost said they’re reaping the benefits.

"Apples really like this kind of weather," Lyall said.

"It's cool. It's wet. They're growing like crazy."

Apple picking season starts next week at some farms in the Ottawa area, which is about a week earlier than normal.