Nasty weather!

jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)January 21, 2014

68F on Sunday and 3f right now, then back up to 50f this afternoon. I think sunday was 10 degrees over the all time high for here. This cant be good on trees.

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marknmt

Similar but not as extreme here, and scary. We're seeing mid-teens and mid-forties, sunny days. Very lovely in ways, but makes me nervous too.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 12:55PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

jag:

Agree that's not good but hopefully your trees are still pretty dormant. I didn't say fully dormant because warm weather like that does reduce their hardiness about 1F each day. Temperatures constantly below freezing increase hardiness about 1F per day but only at certain times during dormancy. This would apply to plants like apples that are hardy in real cold.

It's real hard on things like figs and grapes that aren't that hardy to begin with.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 12:57PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Here it is just cold, day or night. Highs about 20F lows 0F or less. It's 12F right now.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:23PM
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insteng

Yes the temperature going up and down really is hard on the trees. Last year we didn't get the cold weather much and my trees got confused and kept trying to break dormancy early.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:38PM
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marknmt

Removes duplicate post.

This post was edited by marknmt on Tue, Jan 21, 14 at 14:54

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 2:52PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Models show this garbage continuing ...I had -12F this morning... Thursday is showing a HIGH temp of 1F .. More cold next week after a short break Fri/Sat.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:48PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Here is an MSU article written yesterday about the effect of cold and temperature swings on fruit crops/trees (See below),

We were in the 50 yesterday and the day before. It was 4F this morning.

As bad as that is, I think more damage was probably done during the cold spell a couple weeks ago for most people.

During that extreme cold, we had -10. I've since dissected some fruit buds on some peach shoots, and there looks to be significant bud kill. How extensive, I'm still not sure.

This weekend I put some peach shoots in vase to see how much live bloom is left. Should know something in about 10 days.

Here is a link that might be useful: How cold is too cold for Michigan crops?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:50PM
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mrsg47(7)

Olpea, excellent article, thank you. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 4:53PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Olpea-

I should try that. I've been consistently cold (no warm up), but i've been below 0F 19 times this winter, so the peaches will have been tested.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:33PM
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mamuang_gw

I think my peaches are toasted. It's -10 F to -15 F on Jan 2-4., Then by Jan 11-12, it was up to low 50's. Last week was mid 40 and high 30 all week. Today and the next few days back to -3 to - 9 again.

This yo-yo temp esp. a 50 degrees drop in a short time, up and down, won't be good to anyone, trees or human.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 9:28PM
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mrsg47(7)

Manuang, you're reading my mind. The yo-yo temps have been horrible. No real freeze, no temps below zero here in Newport, RI. It has been very temperate. Now eight inches of snow and 8 degrees outdoors. While walking through my orchard two days ago, I was shocked as to how warm, supple and frankly damp were the branches of the trees. It looked as if they could start budding really soon. Will this snow and cold ruin my peaches for two years in a row? The late frost in April did in my peach buds last year. There is nothing like a home grown peach. My trees are loaded with buds this year. Ugh. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 10:46AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

MrsG, 8F is no issue for peach. In your climate there won't be many years where mid winter cold is an issue with peach. We go up and down 50-60F every week all winter. But drops to near zero don't bother the peaches or even the most tender grapes. Figs, on the other hand, get fried.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:41AM
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mrsg47(7)

Thanks Fruitnut! No figs yet. . . Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:50AM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

-15f this morning. This is
the low so far this year here.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 6:00AM
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marknmt

16 below here, but no wind (finally). Our furnace has run nonstop for three and a half days.

Good new is that this is supposed to be the worst of it, then 12 above today, no sub-zero temps foreseen after this (for now!)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 7:19AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

-14F in Omaha early this Am. It is going to be interesting in late March to see which fig and Asian Persimmon trees can handle this kind of cold.

Tony

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:38AM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

Olpea, how did your trial blooms turn out?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 6:21PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Not too good Jag. Out of about 4 or 5 shoots in the vase, I had two flowers. Lots of vegetative buds threw out some growth, but the flower buds beside them were dead.

These were from my new planting where the trees are young. I've heard young trees are a bit less cold hardy. I wonder if their fruit buds are a little less hardy as well.

I have about 35 peach trees in my backyard and most of those are mature. I haven't tested those yet.

You mentioned 15 below. Have you cut open any buds to see what they look like?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:42PM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

No I haven't. I wasn't sure how soon the damage would be obvious......in reading CO state's page about bud damage, I think I will cut a few tomorrow and let them warm up for the morning.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:57PM
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marc5(6aOH)

Last week -21F here! Not so much wide fluctuations, just cold. And they just bumped us up to Zone 6a on the latest chart! Oops.......

I'm most concerned about the containerized trees over-wintering in my unheated barn. It was 12F in there, and I'm afraid my hundreds of pawpaws may be toast. Need a better over-wintering plan for next year.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I've read that Pawpaw can take -25F.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:37PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I"ve brought quite a few of my container trees into the house in the past week to get them going (I will then move them to a greenhouse once we/if we get warmer weather in early March). So far not seeing any damage, and some swelling is already occurring. These are mostly peaches, plum and pluots.

My garage has been below 0F many times this winter. My doors are not sealed very well and i have no insulation in the ceiling (just open trusses), but it is attached and we do park a car in there most nights (engine probably adds some warmth for at least part of the night).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:42PM
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glib(5.5)

My garage got as cold as 14F when it was -13F outside. We keep the house at 55F at night. No garage insulation here either, but there is an attic where I store cardboard, plastic sheeting, buckets, tomato cages, so that probably helps. I have my apples in there, well protected inside a not connected freezer, and they have not frozen, meaning that probably the cars contribute significant warmth. I took the turnips, beets, cabbage and carrots into the fridge though.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:57PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

No freeze damage here except on figs. Just wild swings from teens to 70s every 5 days. Hope it doesn't continue until May like it did last year.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 9:07PM
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Michael

Well. I checked our avg. daily highs and lows for the month of Feb. and darned it, we've been 10 - 15 deg. below avg. every day and night this month. Guess it really isn't just me getting old and grumpy at the cold.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 9:26PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Just looking and at least for up here, extended range looks like winters grip starts to loosen after we plunge well below 0F early next week.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 1:18AM
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glib(5.5)

But my extended forecast says we will not go above freezing, in SE MI, at least until Feb. 22.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:19AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

-8F this morning... my God this is getting old. I really have my doubts on a lot of trees in the yard. Everything is being tested to the extreme this year. Now I know why i grow things in pots.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 11:13AM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

I will have to bloom mine inside too. My eyes, my jewelers loop, or my knife weren't up to the task, I couldn't tell good buds from bad.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 5:49PM
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