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Blueberries surprise owner with unseasonable flowering

Plants remain green in October when they’d usually be orange or yellow
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Chet Skippy, owner of Chet’s Blueberry Farm in Stevens Point, is seeing something he’s never seen before in his 20 years owning the farm.

Blueberry plants are budding and flowering in October, months after it’s typical season in July.

“We’ve never had that before, but we’ve found a few where they’ve been flowering,” said Skippy. “They’re starting to produce blueberries already which is very unusual.”

The flowers and buds would eventually produce blueberries if the unseasonably warm weather would continue, but the cold will likely kill them off before they grow.

The entire look of the plants as a whole is a shock too.

“By now, they’re all different colors,” said Skippy. “They’re yellow, burgundy and orange, but this year they’re still green which is rather unusual.”

The weather in north-central Wisconsin has been a surprise the last few months.

In the stretch from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the average high of 73.3 is 10.3 degrees warmer than last year during that span and 10.8 degrees warmer than the average in that span.

Sepember even saw a record high on Sept 19 of 87 degrees. October has had days reach the 80 degree threshold as well.

The warm weather doesn’t change Skippy’s plans much however. Next week he still plans on thinning his plants to get ready for the cold temperatures of winter.

The warm fall is a strange end to what’s otherwise been a great year for Skippy’s plants.

“We’ve had more growth than we’ve ever had,” said Skippy.

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