Once the seed has grown to a tree the cold spell is again important. This is the reason fruit and nut orchards are at risk from rising winter average winter temperatures; without sufficient number of cold days for that particular variety the fruit will not set.
When you pick your apricot, peach, nectarine, plum, or cherry on a sunny summer day perhaps you should remember that early cold spell with a little more affection.
Tonight temperatures will range from freezing on the Mediterranean coast to -15C in the Pyrenées just a few miles away. We once recorded temperatures of -12C in our Mediterranean garden though a thick coat of mulch meant almost all of our plants survived.
Last year the cold spell was a little later falling at the beginning of March resulting in the loss of our cherry and Nispera / Loquat crop.