Did Europe steal North America's winter cold?

Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Wed, 15 Feb 2012 13:31:29 PST
I've been reading Mort Rosenblum's 1996 book "Olives The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit" lately. According to him, the winter of 1956 resulted in the death of about a million olive trees in France, and an additional six million in some way suffered from the cold. Among olive growers it was said at the time to be the worst calamity to befall the trees since 1739, when they began keeping records.
When this author says "trees" he evidently means the above ground, productive part of the plants - he later goes on to mention that after the old trunks were cut to the ground,  most of the trees sprouted from the roots. 
He gives the date February 1, 1956 and mentions that the trees were showing bud growth at that time and overnight the temperature suddenly dropped to -7 degrees C. That's about 19 degrees F. 

If you really like French olive oil, it might be a good idea to get up to your supplier and grab some before the price jumps! 

Jim McKenney

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