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Local orchard owner said crops took a hit after the late spring freeze

Farms from here to the Carolinas, to up north have seen shortages this harvest. It's because of the harsh, unexpected freeze we saw in late spring.

PIKEVILLE, Tenn. — Every fall, we indulge in some of our favorite annual autumn traditions, like heading out to apple orchards. 

But, the pickings are slim this year!

Farms from here to the Carolinas, to up north have seen shortages this harvest. It's thanks to that harsh, unexpected freeze we saw in late spring.

Oren Wooden's Apple House is one of many who saw its crops take a hit from the late freeze this year.

"People don't realize what you go through. I mean every year you are scared to death of a freeze," Oren Wooden's Apple House Labron Smith said.

For some people, this is the favorite time of the year to take on a classic fall tradition, apple picking.

But, this time around, you'll want to get in on the annual tradition quicker than usual.

"We usually grow around 45,000 bushels and this year we will pick 4 to 5,000 bushels," Smith said.

Smith said they only have 10 to 15 percent what they normally have.

"Some other apples we are getting we are getting in out of Pennsylvania. It's about the closest place we can get it from," Smith said.

He said he sees freezes all the time, but this comes in as the second worst he has ever seen.

"It's very hard for a fruit grower to lose their crop like this," Smith said.

Like many other apple orchards, Oren's will have limited quantities and varieties of pre-picked apples.

He said the best thing people can do is call ahead and see what's available before heading out to pick.