April 6, 2012
Freezing damages peach, apple orchards
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Freezing temperatures have damaged some peach and apple orchards in the Eastern Panhandle.

Unseasonably warm temperatures throughout the state that caused many peach and apple trees to bloom prematurely were disrupted last week by freezing temperatures, according to a news release from the state Department of Agriculture.

"My staff has been receiving reports of substantial damage to some of our state's orchards," Agriculture Commissioner Gus R. Douglass said in the release. "In particular, Hampshire County seems to have suffered the most from the freeze. To a lesser extent, Jefferson County has reported some losses, with Berkeley County orchards appearing to have been spared the worst of the damage."

The long-term damage of the freeze will be evaluated in the coming weeks.

During the week that ended April 1, low temperatures of 28 degrees in Martinsburg and 24 degrees in Keyser were reported.

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