WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota apples will be plentiful this season. Great weather has given local growers a bumper crop.
Natalie Nyhus went to Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake to see when the best picking will start.
Mother nature has been about as good as she could have been to apple growers this season.
“The quality this year is just off the charts. It’s been fantastic. We are getting high quality apples off a lot of the trees, which makes the grade out really nice across the board,” JP Jacobson, the president of the Minnesota Apple Growers Association, said.
Mild temperatures and moderate rain producing one of the best apple seasons they’ve seen in years.
“When things dry out and then you get a huge downpour, the trees tend to respond vigorously. Things can get out of balance, out of whack,” Jacobson said.
Thankfully, that’s not been the case this year with consistent inch or less rainfalls giving way to gorgeous Minnesota-grown apples.
Jacobson says honey crisps, sweet tango and courtland will be great for eating.
“These are some of the honeycrisp we grow here at Pine Tree. You see they are getting pretty close,” Jacobson said. “A couple of cold nights, and these will color up real nice.”
Growers say they are about seven to 10 days ahead of schedule this season, so varieties like the McIntosh will be available this weekend.
Haralsons, good for baking, will be best in about two weeks.
“Minnesota is one of the best apple-growing states across the country. We have a really nice cool climate. There are different varieties that respond better to cool climates, like honey crisp, sweet tango and haralson that were bred and raised in Minnesota. They do better here,” Jacobson said.
Jacobson says prime picking at Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake will start in the next seven to 10 days, but they have plenty now.