Pick your own apples not possible this year - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Pick your own apples not possible this year

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MERRILL (WAOW) -

For some people, fall means picking their own apples at orchards. But because of the unusual weather this year, they're missing out on that tradition.

The trees at Helene's Hilltop Orchard in Merrill are usually filled with apples, and people can be found picking them this time of year.

But because of the late frost, neither apples nor pickers can be found.

"Our customers are wanting to pick apples for the main part, so as they call or come out their disappointed," Helene Pagoria, one of the co-owners said.

"We miss it because there's nothing like picking a fresh apple off a tree and biting into this crisp wonderful apple," Mary Rhode from Rhinelander said.

The owners say when they have no apples--their business really feels the affects.

"Apple picking is about two-thirds of our business, of our income," Pagoria said.

But they say there's not much they can do about it this season.

"It's out of our control," Pagoria added.

The orchard owners say 99.9 percent of their apple crop was ruined because of the late frost. But they say their pumpkin crop made it through just fine.

"Pumpkins look good," Pagoria said.

Pagoria says without pumpkins this year, her business would have really been in trouble.

"The pumpkins were early, so we opened the pumpkin patch early and that has brought out people that still want pumpkins," Pagoria said.

Even with a successful pumpkin crop, Pagoria says the lack of apples will be felt for a while.

"It's going to be right for the next couple years," Pagoria said.

But the owners say they're thankful for the customers that come, even when there are no apples.

Helene's Hilltop Orchard will be selling those pumpkins seven days a week through Halloween.

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