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Why we freeze our apple trees in South Tyrol

Did princess Elsa have a hand in this? Thousands of them glisten in the spring sun: myriads of frozen apple blossoms transform the South Tyrolean Eisack Valley into a whimsical fairytale land. Paradoxical as it may sound: to protect the precious apple blossoms from frost, they have to be frozen. Why exactly, how this works and what makes South Tyrol the apple country par excellence, you can read in this issue of Pacher's blog:

The history of South Tyrolean apples: from marshland to the orchard of Europe

11 percent of all apples in Europe come from South Tyrol. More than 8,000 South Tyrolean apple growers are responsible for this. It was not so long ago, just a few generations ago, that large-scale cultivation of Gala or Golden Delicious apples was considered to be a fool's errand. There was only room for a few trees on the steep mountain slopes. It was only when the swampy banks of the rivers were gradually drained and new, faster trade routes opened up with the construction of the railway line over the Brenner Pass that South Tyrolean fruit-growing really took off. Today, it is impossible to imagine Europe's supermarkets without South Tyrolean apples. If you look for the "Südtiroler Apfel g.g.A." seal of quality, you can bite into a delicious piece of South Tyrolean. 

Icy against Father Frost

But before the apple becomes an apple, it is first of all a delicate blossom. And it is quite delicate. In the Valle Isarco it is not unusual for winter to return in April and make life difficult for the apple growers with its frosty temperatures. Because if the apple blossoms freeze, there are no apples. But the South Tyrolean apple growers are pretty "cool" contemporaries and beat Father Frost with his own weapons. It sounds paradoxical, but it is quite ingenious. The apple trees are frozen. The so-called frost sprinkling works like this: When a drop in temperature or the onset of winter threatens, the farmers spray their apple trees with water. This forms a fine layer of ice and the filigree apple blossoms are perfectly protected from the icy air temperatures. A fascinating spectacle, especially when the sun comes out and makes the frozen apple blossoms glitter like diamonds. 

Holiday in the sea of apple blossoms

The South Tyrolean apple blossom is an impressive experience not only for the Instagram feed, but especially for the soul. It is impossible to say exactly when the Eisack Valley landscape will turn into a sea of blossoms. In past years, the apple trees around Bressanone/Brixen blossomed particularly beautifully between the end of April and the beginning of May. You can take the most beautiful walks and hikes through the apple orchards directly from Pacher's, and the apple hiking trail in Natz-Schabs is also very close by. Do you have any questions or would you like personal holiday advice? The Pachers team is there for you. By email, phone or via DM on Facebook or Instagram
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