The heat wave that scorched Western Canada last week severely damaged fruit crops in the Okanagan and Fraser Valley as the province’s two major fruit-growing regions saw multiple days of temperatures above 40 C.
President of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association Pinder Dhaliwal estimates that 50 to 70 per cent of cherry crops were damaged in the heat wave. Dhaliwal said that apples, apricots and stone fruits have also been damaged to a lesser degree.
According to Dhaliwal, the heat wave “cooked” cherries right in the orchard, noting that they are brown in colour with burned leaves and dry stems.
“It seems like somebody took a blowtorch to it and just singed it,” says the orchardist from Oliver, in B.C.’s southern Interior.