To quote Madeline Kahn from the classic Young Frankenstein, “Miss me?”
It’s been a while since anyone sent MAC a question. I know, I know – we’re staying at home and we’re quarantining and we’re being socially distant. But hey, a resource like me could get a complex!
So thanks to Linda for her question this week – and to Jerry for his question which I’ll answer next week! And to the rest of you, you may be staying home, but where’s your curiosity? Let me know what you want to know and I’ll do my best to get you an answer.

Dear MAC,
We have a Mulberry Tree that has consistently produced fruit for years. This year, it's bare. The tree appears to be in good shape, but we are not experts. Also, I have heard other people say the same thing this year. Is this just part of a weird 2020, a pattern maybe, or does my tree have problems?

MAC turned to the real experts when it comes to this stuff – Purdue! Our local Extension Office’s county director Monica Nagele put Extension Educator and Agriculture & Natural Resources expert Ashley Adair on the case. Ashley told us the following:

The culprit for this lack of fruit production is this year’s late freeze. On the evening of April 18th, temperatures around the area dipped to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. In some areas, especially low spots, the temperature likely dropped lower. These temperatures are lethal to most flowers, especially those on fruit trees. This freeze event noticeably zapped apple and peach blossoms as well as redbud, magnolia, and other ornamental tree blossoms. Mulberries tend to start opening flowers around the same time as other spring-flowering trees and shrubs, but their flowers are somewhat inconspicuous and mulberry growers may not have noticed that flowers were killed. Unfortunately that means we won’t have as much opportunity to enjoy mulberry preserves and wines this year!
And for next year?Ashley says not to worry.
No future impact on the tree. An occasional late freeze has no impact in the overall health of the tree, even if it loses both flowers and some leaves. Leaves grow back and flowers will come again next spring!

MAC appreciates Ashley’s answer and Monica’s help. We’re lucky to have such a good Extension Office here in Montgomery County.

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