Cherry season has begun in Okanagan

Cherries 2

There have been warnings about the drying of the Okaganan this summer - there are concerns about drought conditions on the way. 

But right now - there's no concern about a lack of water from BC Cherry Association President Sukhpal Bal.

"So far, the reservoirs look healthy - they're full and right now we're monitoring - looking to see if we do need to do some water restrictions to make sure the farms have enough water- but it's still early and we're not in any panic mode by any means," he says. 

The cherry season has just started and he says the fruit is now beginning to get some colour and plump up.

Bal says the crop won't be as large as in previous years - there are fewer cherries on the trees.

"And the benefit of that is that you can get a nice size, because there's less fruit on the tree for the tree to push for growth, so you can get the benefit of larger cherries which can help in the maketplace," he says. 

Bal also says the other benefit this year is a lack of heavy rains, which causes the fruit to split - but excessive heat can also be a problem - softening cherries. 

"Ideally, cherries would love the high 20 degrees - they'd be really happy," says Bal. "They don't do well in temperatures around 35 degrees."

The Okanagan cherry harvest won't begin in earnest until the second week of July.