Westside Pioneer Home Page

Solving the mystery of the tree that's been lit up all night on South 26th Street

Strands of C-9 bulbs keep the blossoms warm enough to survive the cold nights in an apricot tree on South 26th Street.
Westside Pioneer photo
March 30, 2018
       If anyone has wondered about a front-yard tree on South 26th Street that's been lit up all night of late, it's not to celebrate Easter… although that would have been a good reason.
       No, it's to save the tree's blossoms.
       According to the Jordan family of 526 S. 26th, this is the third year that their apricot tree in front has been hoodwinked by a “false spring” - resulting from warmer temperatures well before the season's final frost.
       Previously when this happened and the frost came, the tree's blossoms turned brown and died, and the tree produced no apricots that year.
       Seeing such a potential again this year, the Jordans searched for a possible solution after blossoms sprouted in late March and forecasts called for nighttime temperatures in the 20s.
       Lo and behold, a website suggested stringing up C-9 bulbs. Don't use LEDs, the site explained, because they stay cold. But C-9s, which used to be the standard type of outdoor lights for Christmas and other holidays, put out heat soon after they're plugged in.
       The Jordans said they have strung up four C-9 strands, 20 feet each. They also happily report that the blossoms still look alive after several days and are even attracting bees.
       So you can bet that as spring moves along, the Jordans will be checking the forecasted low temperature daily as darkness comes on. If it's going to be 32 or below, expect to see their apricot tree awash in bright colored lights throughout the night.
       But are a few fruits from an apricot tree worth all the trouble and added electrical expense? “I can't believe you would ask such a question,” the Jordans scolded the reporter in a response two days before April Fools.

Westside Pioneer article
(Community: Neighborhoods)

Would you like to respond to this article? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)