This morning’s simpering heat, combined with a brief uptick in the wind and quickly clouding dark skies, made it easy to think about the tornadoes that ripped across Oklahoma and Kansas yesterday. Sadly, more tornadoes, hail storms, and slow-moving thunderstorms (ie a lot of rain in one place), including some aimed near Joplin, Missouri and north to Minnesota, may occur today (Monday). Remember that the Chicago region [link to map] is already in a Federal Disaster Zone because of the devastating rain storms of April 18th, just a month ago. Lots of Chicagoans are still mopping up and cleaning out, unfortunately. [Here’s a link about how you can help and/or donate to Chicago flood clean-up efforts by the American Red Cross.]
There’s good news and bad news about the amazingly full blossoms you are noticing this year on crabapple trees and other fruit trees.
The good news is that after last year’s sustained cold damage to their blossoms (which killed the apple crop from IL to NY], the trees seemed to cope by becoming ultra-productive in flowering this year. Therefore, states like Michigan, which experienced 27 degrees on May 13th, had their blossoms badly damaged but will likely still have a bountiful fruit crop, although growers in a few local communities where it stayed cold for hours probably got wiped out. Along with fruit growers, other types of nursery crops took a hit. For example, today I went to buy some lemon thyme at Pasquesi’s Garden Center in Lake Bluff, IL, and was surprised that there was not one thyme plant of any kind to be found. Why? Because Pasquesi’s Michigan-based herb supplier had put its herbs outside and the frost burned them up. They have to start slips all over again. So please be patient, customers! P.S. Doesn’t it make you frantic and sad to visit Home Depot in April and see them putting basil and hibiscus, among other tender plants, outside just so that they can get killed by cold? ##