What temps have your flowering trees survived?

fabaceae_nativeApril 14, 2012

I've seen nearly half a dozen posts recently from people gearing up for freezing weather while their fruit trees are in/past/or near bloom. These threads only last a day or two until the weather event in question arrives...

I'm looking for some followup...

What I'm wondering is how have all those fruit trees fared? Were the weather forecasts on target? What temps did you see, and what was the damage, if any? Do my peaches at full bloom, plums and apricots well past, and apples just starting stand a chance of making it through the stormy 26 predicted tonight?

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Depending on which weather report you believe, the low here was either 28 or 26. The forecasts were even more wildly divergent.

I'd say I lost about 1/4 of the apriums on my most advanced tree. That, so far, is the greatest extent of damage I've been able to tell. Asian plums seem to have survived, and a good number of the sweet cherries out of the shuck. Pears are good. Strawberries don't show damage.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:07PM
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We had several nights with forecasted and actual weather going as low as 27. My terrain is hilly with lots of wind-breaks (many microclimates) and the dew point lower on all but one night than the temp. My fruit trees were in all stages of development from bloom bud to petal drop. Most at this point look unscathed, but I'll have to check the ovules on a few trees to be sure. Depending on stage of development, and how long the temp stayed at the low points, there can be drastically different outcomes as to fruiting. Mine have the most profuse number of flowers I can ever remember, so even if I have some percentage of fruit loss, (and no more severe cold happens down the line) I should have a good harvest. Perhaps losing some fruit with that many potential fruits might even be a blessing to thin them out.

BTW I know the temps varied wildly on different parts of the property. The grapes half the buds where leaves and clusters were starting were burnt to a nub and half totally fine with no sign of burn. The lilacs were fine, both flower and leaf. The magnolia some were zapped, some not. The strawberry beds I had moved to raised beds a year ago and those I did take the time to frame up and cover and they look super! Loaded with big, fat white blooms and bloom buds.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Well, our coldest night so far after the extraordinary March warmth was a few nights ago... I live almost exactly equidistant between two weather reporting stations. Both of them dropped to around or just slightly above 28 degrees, about 28.2 -28.4. We had our heaviest frost that night, and the trees themselves were all frozen.

I don't see any more damage to them than I did before. There are some frozen blooms with black centers on all types of trees, but the majority of blooms are ok, and so far, I'd say I'm going to have a crop of some kind this year. Time will tell. I think the bigger problem post-warmth here is the fact that once it got warm and brought everything out into full bloom, with the exception of apples and E. pears which for the most part are still buds, is the fact that most days temps have only gotten into the upper 40's, and it hasn't been conducive to pollination.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:18PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Just to show you what temps. we have to deal in some years. I have seen -12C. / 10F in May, [flowering time].. some trees will be dead.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:23PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'd say a small percentage of the apricots were destroyed (10 to 20%)...other then that I'm not seeing any damage. I really won't know until another few weeks. I pruned back my apricots heavily today, so that removed part of this years crop.

I hit anywhere between 26F to 28F...but if anything, we didn't stay at 26F for very long...most of the night was spent in the upper 20Fs...

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:47PM
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18F here this a.m....

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 3:51PM
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We've been down to 20F on numerous occasions while many of my trees have been somewhere between tight and loose cluster. Miraculously, it seems that many of my apples are still OK. I think I probably lost all of the Japanese plums and all of the Asian pear blossoms. I THINK that some of the European plums are OK and I think my sour cherries are still OK. It was just a tremendous blast of cold weather, night after night after night. Of course, we were weaks ahead of normal in our bloom time which explains most of it. I'm just hopeful that some of my fruit may have survived. We've got overcast and warmer weather forecast for the next week or so, which is a relief.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 6:47AM
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Well, I better give my own update now, so as not to be hypocritical...:)

The moral of the story below is that even under two opposite scenarios of cold weather (advection frost with prolonged subfreezing temps versus a brief radiation frost) the fruit trees were largely unharmed by the mid to high 20's.

-- SATURDAY NIGHT: low of 27F at my house, right on the nose with the National Weather Service Forecast for my area. It was cold and windy all night, and below freezing from about 7pm Sat until 9am Sunday, a very long period. There was even a thin layer of ice on some rainwater in a bucket on the south side of the house. The extent of the damage (peach, plum, pear, cherry, and apple in bloom) seems to be a few blackened new leaves on the mulberries, and a lot of droopy new growth on lilacs, maples, etc... that perked up during the day.
--SUNDAY NIGHT: 28 was the forecast, but I was more concerned than the night before because of the lack of wind and clear skies. We ended up dipping to 26, but only briefly, and the sub-freezing period overall was short, maybe 6 or 7 hours. Plants were even less affected than the night before, none showing any drooping. There was no ice in the same bucket of rainwater.

The long-range forecast shows predominantly lows in the 40's from now on, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll have some fruit this year...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:27PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

We reached 29 degrees once during fruit tree flowering time. Unfortunately this did not have an effect. And it has been dry, so virtually every flower has fruit so lots of thinning to do this spring. The good news is that all hard to pollinate stone fruits have set well.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:33PM
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My Asian pears and peaches seem to have survived the weather just fine. Pear blossoms are not yet fully opened, but the peaches are. I am not certain the coldest temp, but there was a light frost on the ground. I am not convinced my temps were as low as forcasted.

Apples are just hitting a hint of red. Seem to be OK so far.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

I went back and checked my weather station. 18.5F in full bloom. All open or nearly open blooms died but the tree put on about 10% more blooms. I should have apples by middle of June.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 5:55PM
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