The Leelanau Enterprise reports that harvest of early sweet cherry varieties could begin as soon as July 1, based on samples taken at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station. That means the usually poorly timed National Cherry Festival (July 3-10, 2010) will be giving people a taste of the fruit of the National Cherry Capital!
Historical temperature data from the National Weather Service office in Gaylord showed Traverse City's average daily temperature of 42.7 from January through May was more than 5 degrees warmer than long-term normal temperatures.
That's the warmest such period since 1896 and helped push the region's cherry crop development almost two weeks ahead of schedule.
National Cherry Festival Executive Director Tim Hinkley said board members in the cherry industry recently told officials to expect locally grown cherries in time for this year's 84th annual event, scheduled for July 3-10.