Fruit trees inspection after a nasty winter of -15F

Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)March 9, 2014

Nikita's Gift and Rossyanka Hybrid persimmons without protection and no damage. All figs with protection died to ground level including the cold hardy Brown Turkey and Chicago Hardy. All Asian persimmons survived with wrapping protectiom (Honan Red, Ichi, Saijo, Sheng,) Ichi was grafted on Native D.V. rootstock, Interestingly the rest were on Giant Hana Fuyu rootstock for trial and survived the -15F. All the American persimmons (Meader, U-20A, Lena, Early Golden, Knightville, 100-42, Prok, Yates, H-118, H-120, Garretson, Geneva Long,WS8-10) with no damage. All pawpaws with no damage. Pomegranates with wrapping protection without any damage.


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Bradybb WA-Zone8

It looks like things went through the Arctic blast well except for the Figs,Tony.Yeah,I had a Brown Turkey once and was too late to protect it from one of those cold fronts.I think the temps may have been in the single digits that year,which is very cold for here.The Fig died to the ground also,but grew back fine. Brady

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 10:58PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Tony, what pomegranates do you have? Man I love those, and would love to grow them! Could you go over the wrapping protection?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:17AM
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I live within 20 miles of Tony. My peach tree blooms survived. As Oplea suggested I cut a small branch and put it in a vase in the house and it bloomed.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:09AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


The two pomegranates are Salavatski and Wonderful (from a giant fruit I bought at Costco. I got 2 seedlings about 4 feet tall). I will attach a previous thread I did on winter protection. Take care.


Here is a link that might be useful: Winter protection with wrapping plus stuffing dried leaves

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:48AM
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Too bad about the figs how big and old were your trees?

We got down to -8 for a few nights and my neighbor claims we got to -12 one night but I don't know because my thermometer wasn't working.
My saijo on virginian rootstock came through unprotected while my salavatski pom and hardy chicago fig both died halfway down while wrapped.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:51AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


Are your buds swelling? I've noticed Omaha has been in the low 70Fs the past few days. Must be nice! We hit low 50Fs today and it feels like 80F.. Ton of snow here so water is running everywhere.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 4:50PM
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I put on my high boots and slogged out to look at the trees for the first time since Dec. We got down to about -20F. Everything seems to be alive, buds alive, all but the bud grafts I did late last summer. They're toast. Which may or may not have been due to the cold, or my ineptitude at budding.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 6:05PM
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I too went down to my orchard today. We had flurries this morning but the ground was soggy. The buds on my peaches are mostly fine. There are a number of 'fried' buds near the ends of the branches and stems. I spray and prune tomorrow. Thurs. it is supposed to go back down into the 20's for a day or so and I'm in zone 7. I've had enough. My Italian plum which is usually covered with fruiting spurs has many fewer spurs this year. It bloomed like crazy last year, perhaps that is the reason. Fingers crossed looks like an excellent apple and peach year. My Bavay has its first spurs too. Can't wait to weed and spread a little mulch and fertilizer. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


The figs were 4 years old. They will recover because I planted them about two feet deep beyond the pot soil line. That way the roots will be protected.


It was beautiful the last two days with temperature around 70's, but tomorrow it takes a nose dive in the 40's. No buds activity yet. I got the copper solution in the sprayer and ready to spray in the next few days.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 11:00PM
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Thanks Tony for the report. Did you use the same type of protection for the figs and pomegranates as you did for the persimmons. As I recall these did not include ground enclosure.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 11:06PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


Yes, I wrapped the figs the same way as the Asian persimmons and the pomegranates. I forgot to mention that all the Jujubes(Ga-866, Li, Lang, and Honey Jar) handled the -15F just fine. BTW, how are your Kakis handle the -F weather? I just want to let you know some bad news that 85 percent of Cliff England Asian Persimmons died from the -11F. Most of those were young Kakis grown in open fields without much protection.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 11:59PM
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Wow, I'm sorry to hear about Cliff's trees.

My kakis also exposed to -11F with many of them only protected with an ice covering applied earlier in the day. I'm not ready to call the amount of injury, but nothing looks obviously lost and cambium remains green. My figs and poms are in tents that include ground area and I won't open them until another week or two. Figs not in tents are showing obvious loss of the smaller branches but remains unclear how far down the trunk the loss extends.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:55AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

It was too bad. He collected most of his Kakis around the world.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 9:28AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Yes Cliff had some really unusual ones and he had promised me some of them this winter. I hope that there is a live bud or two hiding somewhere on his trees.

Here we had a great length of cold weather but it never got below the 2-4F range. I haven't looked at everything but the fuzzy kiwis and pomegranates appeared to have done well unprotected. I lost quite a bit of cane on some of the trailing blackberries, it was a good test winter for my experimental planting there. I see lots of dead tips on the figs, much more than usual. The persimmons look very good.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:45PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

This is very encouraging for me about the poms. I had been wanting one but had no idea you could get them to survive.

Do you keep them wrapped up pretty much all winter?


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:24PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


You can remove the wrapping in early March.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 6:40PM
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Montmorency, meteor, mesabi, lapins, white gold and black gold cherry trees seem to have lots of spurs and look ok. Euro plums and peaches look ok also, though some peach buds look burned . After Thanksgiving I transplanted a few honeyberries, currants and grapes from pots into the ground and was worried about them. All of them seem to have some flower buds now. I planted some bare root cherries and plums in early December. Out of those, a surefire cherry and a blue byrd plum look ok but some Japanese plums might not have made it.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:29PM
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jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)

I thought my low was -15f also, but my peach buds all died. I am a lot more dry out here than Omaha is, so that may have been the difference.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:51PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I looked carefully at my figs yesterday.. they got toasted. I think like jagchaser it was all the dry cold that desiccated them. My low is 3F.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 7:45AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I've done very little surveying of damage as we've still got good snow coverage, I snapped a couple small branch tips on the pomegranates and I'm not too hopeful. Asian persimmon still showing green when scratched. my wife had health issues this fall and I wrapped nothing. We'll see how the few figs in the ground are in a few weeks. I think I might have lost my flying dragon pro circus due to dehydration (lack of watering) in my garage as I missed watering this one back in January.

Black bamboo and sasa viechii seem all brown, but it might just be leaves. Che and jujubes seem unaffected.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 9:56PM
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