Adding to the uncertainty is that the trees don’t recognize some weather problems once the fruit is set.
“If it rains, for instance, and the fruit splits, the tree doesn’t know it’s lost all of its fruit,” Cameron said.
On the other hand, the trees do seem to be aware when a light bloom, poor pollination or frost damage reduces volume, he said.
A luxury enjoyed by California grower-shippers, Culbertson pointed out, is the state’s cherries are the first of the year to hit the domestic market.
“We don’t compete with anything internationally,” he said.
“What little import pressure there is comes from Europe, and most of that fruit goes only to the East Coast.”