68 / 49
      70 / 52
      62 / 45

      The apple expert gives his crop prediction

      While many people are anxiously awaiting the arrival of more Spring-like temeratures, the current stretch of below-normal readings are actually a welcome sight for fruit farmers who experienced major crop losses last year.

      He's the local apple expert and the humble, 91-year-old has the years of experience to prove it.

      "I just raised apples all my life. When I was a little boy my dad had two acres of orchard behind me here," says owner of Apple Lane Orchard, Robert Pettengill.

      Those two acres blossoming and eventually becoming a 1,000-tree farm called Apple Lane Orchard located at 4460 North Center Road in Flint.

      Over the years the number of trees has dwindled but Pettengill continues to farm as best he can recalling the good times and the bad.

      "I'm 91-years-old and I've never seen any trees come out as early as they did last year."

      Just last year, early warm temperatures followed by an April frost killed almost all of the local apple crop.

      "Last year was a bad year because at this time they were showing the green leaves were coming out this year you can see the tree behind me there's no green showing now. that's good."

      Pettengill says it also means good news for your wallet. Last year prices more than doubled.

      This year, Genesee County's seasoned apple expert says things are looking up.

      "If the blossoms blossom the first or second week in May they'd be less apt to freeze so we'll just have to wait and see," says Pettengill.

      Other local orchards report they expect to see a better crop this year as well, as long as Summer-like temperatures hold off for a couple more weeks.