The verdict is in. That one night in April when it dropped down to about 0 degrees did a lot more damage than just killing off some Spring flowers. I have virtually no apples in my small grove (14 trees). Last year was such a bumper crop that I cut some branches out of fear the weight of the apples was going to split or pull down the trees. Of the 11 small fruit trees that I have planted these past few years (pear, plum, cherry, peach, apple, & mulberry), only the mulberry tree will bear fruit this year. It is too early to know for sure but so far my large black walnut tree isn’t looking like it will have any nuts. Last year it too had a bumper crop.
This is a reminder that in a survival situation a single weather event can destroy a lot of food. We don’t plant here until the end of May and so a cold night in April doesn’t matter, except to the fruit trees that will have started budding. A single hard frost in July or August however could destroy a year’s crops. That’s what happened in New England in 1816, the “year without a summer”.