The apple blossom marks a specific time in spring, the so-called full spring. Then all signs point to milder temperatures and the end of winter. You can find out here when we can expect the apple blossom in 2021.
Table of Contents
Astronomically, spring begins on March 19, 20, or 21 in the northern hemisphere. The first day and night equinox in the calendar year is decisive for the exact date. In 2021 this will be on Saturday March 20th at 10:37 am. Meteorologically, i.e. for meteorological statistics, spring in the northern hemisphere always begins on March 1st. According to Christianity, spring always begins on March 21st, because this is the date used for Easter, which is always the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring.
Apple trees are of no interest to either meteorological statistics or the Christian faith. Because they always bloom in spring. Therefore, the apple blossom is one of those developmental phenomena in nature that recur periodically over the course of the year. Phenology deals with phenomena such as the apple blossom. Therefore, in addition to the conventional calendar, there is also a so-called phenological calendar, which has ten seasons in Central Europe. The classification of the seasons is based, among other things, on so-called indicator plants, which include birch, dandelion and forsythia as well as cultivated apples. According to the phenological seasons, in spring between
- early spring
- first spring
- full spring
distinguished. In Central Europe, early spring usually begins in late February or early March, marked by the snowdrop blossom. The first spring is marked, among other things, by the blossoming of forsythia. In the full spring that follows, lilac and apple trees bloom, later also the raspberry.
Full spring in Europe
It is no surprise that full spring is arriving first in southern Europe. However, its distribution is of interest. Full spring starts at the end of February in the southwest of Portugal and about 90 days later it reaches Finland, which is around 3,600 kilometers away from Portugal. In other words, full spring moves around 40 kilometers north in Europe every day. A few dates for the apple blossom from 2015 should make this clear:
- Portugal: late February
- northern Spain: early March
- Carmarque/Cote d’Azur: March 10th
- southern Italy: early March
- northern Italy: end of March
- Northern France, Alsace: April 10th
- Upper Rhine (Germany): 11 April
- North Sea (Germany): May 3rd
- Ostsee: May 10
- Sweden, Southern Norway: May 17th
- Pollen: 1. May
- Denmark: May 7th
- South of England: April 5th
- Northern England: May 1st
After Germany, full spring comes from France and Switzerland. Because when the apple trees are already blooming in Portugal, it is still the dead of winter in this country. If the entire continent is considered, Germany is roughly in the middle when it comes to full spring and the flowering time of apples. Although the phenological full spring arrives every year, it is not tied to a fixed date. This is because it is subject to annual fluctuations due to the weather. Overall, however, it can be stated that full spring, i.e. the apple blossom, has continuously shifted forward since 1960. The apple trees therefore blossom three days earlier per decade. Therefore, the phenological seasons are also considered indicators of climate change.
Apple blossom 2020
Last year we were able to experience the apple blossom very early. Already at the end of March the first apple blossoms opened in Breisgau. However, winter came back again, so that it was not yet possible to speak of the beginning of the apple blossom across the board. As early as the beginning of April, the apple blossoms began to make their way across western Germany along the Upper Rhine. The main flowering time of apple trees in Germany in 2020 was between April 5th and May 1st.
Apple blossom 2021
But when can we expect the start of early spring this year? It is difficult to predict exactly when the apple blossom will start in 2021. Although there are various blossom barometers on the Internet that show the apple blossom in 2021, these barometers only work for a short time, i.e. shortly before or during the apple blossom. The tourism advertising of various apple-growing regions in Europe naturally sees this differently. The Blossom Festival in Lana, in South Tyrol, extends from April 1st to 18th, 2021. However, there is no guarantee that the apple trees will actually bloom at this time. For example, in 2017 the apples in South Tyrol blossomed two weeks earlier than the long-term average. When will the apple blossom start in 2021? Nothing concrete can be said about this, but it will be in spring.