By Katie Steiner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Apple season is in full swing at Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake.

“We’ve had a very cool August, and people get into the mode of, ‘Hey, it’s cool. Instead of going to the lake, let’s go to the apple orchard!’ And that has really helped. We had a very good August, and September is starting off to be very, very good, too,” said production manager John Jacobson.

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With so many apples in their orchards, Jacobson watches the weather a lot.

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“White Bear Lake has not had any hail events here, so we are always worried about severe thunderstorms, high winds to a certain degree,” Jacobson said. “We don’t want to blow off too many apples. We’ve had enough moisture, so it really could just stay nice and sunny and we would be happy with that.”

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Hail netting at Pine Tree Apple Orchard (credit: CBS)

In fact, this weather pattern we will see the next couple days is perfect for apples. Cool nights and warm days are perfect ripening weather for the apples.

“The cool nights and the warm days will make the chemical process change the starches to sugars, and that indeed is going to ripen the flesh of the apple, and it would taste better,” Jacobson said. “Right now, if we would taste that apple, it wouldn’t taste like much at all because it’s all starch.”

There are two weather events Jacobson worries about: hail and an early freeze.

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The orchard bought hail netting to protect some of the apples from hail, and is crossing its collective fingers for seasonal temperatures.

Katie Steiner