Mar 23, 2024

Early Blossoms in Czechia Raise Concerns About Frost Damage

Unusually warm winter temperatures have caused a rare almond grove in the Czech Republic, to bloom weeks ahead of schedule.

This early burst of beauty is a cause for celebration but also raises worries about potential frost damage that could devastate the year’s harvest.

Almond trees are typically associated with warmer climates like California and the Mediterranean. So how did Hustopece, nestled in south-east of Czechia, come to have its own almond grove? The answer lies in the Cold War era.

Following the communist takeover in 1948, Czechoslovakia faced a severe shortage of goods, including almonds. The regime aimed for self-sufficiency and established the Hustopece grove in the 1950s.

Experts meticulously identified a south-facing slope near Hustopece as the country’s warmest microclimate and tested various almond cultivars to maximize harvest yields. By 1960, the grove boasted over 50,000 trees, a true Central European oddity.

The almonds supplied a local chocolate factory, but production challenges led to a significant reduction in the grove’s size by the 1970s. Apricot trees, better suited to the region’s climate, were planted in their place. Finally, the Velvet Revolution of 1989 opened the market to global trade, and the Hustopece grove’s commercial purpose dwindled.

A New Life as a Tourist Attraction

Around 15 years ago, local students recognized the unique character of the grove and lobbied the town council to acquire the neglected property.

Today, the remaining 2,000 almond trees have become a beloved spot for both locals and tourists. Visitors flock to witness the spring spectacle and return in the fall to collect fallen almonds.

“There have never been so many people here,” remarked Lukas Vitovsky, a visitor from Brno. “It’s a beautiful place to relax and learn something new,” said Katerina Kopova, who runs a local almond-based products business near the grove. “Many people don’t realize what an almond looks like before it’s shelled.”

The early blooms are a stunning sight, but also a reminder of the delicate balance between nature and climate. While mild winters may seem pleasant initially, they disrupt natural cycles and leave crops vulnerable to late frosts.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more

Support Prague Morning!

We are proud to provide our readers from around the world with independent, and unbiased news for free.

Our dedicated team supports the local community, foreign residents and visitors of all nationalities through our website, social media and newsletter.

We appreciate that not everyone can afford to pay for our services but if you are able to, we ask you to support Prague Morning by making a contribution – no matter how small 🙂 .

Tell more about your business

Tell us about your.

Tell us about your.

Tell us about your.

Tell us about your.

Tell us about your.

Thank You, It`s All Good

We will come back to you within 24 housr with our proporsal

Tell us about your.