Brutal weather on the horizon, poor trees!

MichaelApril 13, 2014

Well dang it, seems the NWS is calling for 29 tonight and 23 Monday night with 10 - 15 mph wind.

As of now, the apples are between silver to green tip and 1/4 - 1/2" green with the russets being the furthest along. One peach is at 1/2" green and the other may have it's buds killed by the -12, -7 and -10 deg. Winter nights.

The situation really stinks in that, aside from the obvious looming potential doom, this is the first year for more than half of the apple trees to be loaded with buds and big enough for a good crop. The one peach is fully mature and an excellent producer, the other is starting it's 3rd leaf. Don't know whether to scream and/or cry.

will let you know how it pans out later.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Fruit blossoms are pretty hardy before they open. I'd think your stage buds should survive 23F just fine. But on the plains there are probably several more freezes coming.

My apricots started blooming in Febr and we're predicted at 30F Tu morning. If that's all it does we should be OK.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 1:49PM
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alan haigh

Agreed, those aren't abnormally low temps for trees at that stage- at least here in SE NY. Be grateful for the late spring- if it gets down that low in May there may be trouble.

Two years ago it got that low several nights here after most of the trees had dropped their petals ( they had flowered in March). Wiped out most of my crop and then the squirrels kept coming. A little south of me the crops were OK, but the squirrels kept coming there also.

I don't think the winter temps will affect your apple crop either, although last years heavy cropping might.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Here, not even the apricots are near blooming and the apples are at silver tip, so I don't have a concern for the freeze.

Given that we're bound to have a freeze some time, better earlier than later.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 2:35PM
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Thanks FN and HM, boy do I hope you're right! Last year wasn't a heavy crop year, looking forward to one this year though. I'll be thinning to avoid biennial bearing, hopefully.

Hoping we all avoid nasty Spring surprises.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 5:09PM
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Michael lets cross our fingers after the drought, rabbits, insects and extreme temperatures I feel fortunate to have any trees left. We should be ok on the apples because they are not open yet but the pears are partially open so we might loose some fruit.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 6:01PM
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They have updated this to a hard freeze so I would say the blooms we have don't stand a chance. We won't know until tommorow but that's how it seems to go at times.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:45PM
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alan haigh

Unopened blooms can take a pretty hard frost, usually the low 20's for sure. Even open blooms may surprise you. It is after petal fall that things can suffer when it gets below 28.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:13PM
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We are going to get to 17 Tuesday night, but little has moved here in MI.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 9:59PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I'm in zone 6 and my trees are still dormant, so no worries here. Again why they call my area zone 6? It should be 5!
Only raspberries are showing any growth right now.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Temps of 82 and 75 today and yesterday and 22 forecast for tomorrow - a recipe for the little left of my Japanese plum crop( after losing all but my Shiros to -12F and -10F in mid-winter)to be toast. Pawpaws also will take a big hit but the long bloom period will allow salvage of the later blossoms so maybe just a later harvest. Apples will be thinned, not necessarily a bad thing.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Fruitnut you were right the blossoms that were open even survived. I did not realize they could handle mid 20's temps.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 5:00AM
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Oh poop, it went down to 17 either on the 15th or 16th, gotta find my records to know which one for sure.

I 've seen pics of cold damaged peach and apple buds where the ovaries are dead but the rest of the tissue is still alive; if that happens, the blooms maybe will still open but no fruit will form. No doubt, dead ovaries, no fruit, I just wonder about the flowers blooming full. Haven't examined any apple buds to see if their ovaries are dead yet but, Redhaven has distinct dead ovaries from the sub-zero snap we had earlier on 9 of the 10 I examined .

All of the green tissue on the apples and peaches survived the 17 degrees, that's the only bright sign I have for sure.

Clark: it sure can be a real challenge trying to grow here, can't it? Drought, intense thunderstorms with 60 mph straight line winds, 100 deg+ to minus 20 temps, hail, tornadoes and then there's the critters.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:50PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I'm in 6a and STILL my trees are dormant, good thing, as the blossoms will be fine. Starting to show green tip now. Again, shows zones tell us little.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 7:13PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


What is showing green tip?

I had a high temp of 43F this afternoon...avg is above 60F... its like last April all over.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:45PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"What is showing green tip? "

PF Lucky 13 peach and a 4 N 1 Pluot. 2 other peach trees, nectarine, and Nectaplum still look dormant. Raspberry leaves are emerging on all plants, blueberry buds are swelling, blackberries dormant except the wyeberry has leaves coming out.Currants are green tip, leaves almost out. Strawberries stayed green all winter, but were covered.
Something to note is the wyeberry which seems winter hardy for a trailing type, and may be really excellent stock for crosses.
I'm too inexperienced to judge peach buds, they may be dead? I'm sure many are. We will see if any flower.
Some dieback on the nectaplum. The pluot seems fine, no dieback, and super healthy looking. I mention this as a lot of discussion in the past about how well pluots will do in the east. This 4 N1 withstood 13 days below zero with no damage at all. At least 3 days double digit -14, -10, and another -10. It is only 2nd leaf, and I had to prune much of it away to balance, so flowering may be erratic on some of the graph's from removing much of last year's wood. Buds are small compared to a peach, so it may not have flower buds yet?? Tomorrow another cold night, but I think it will be the last.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 10:44PM
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