Will planting in shade (winter only) cause later blooms?

jagchaser(5A NE, -15-115f may frost)December 26, 2013

I have been toying with this thought for the past week while I see huge shaded areas on the north sides of my buildings.

In my area some fruits wont bloom late enough to survive a frost. Apricots are the big one, but also some plums and some peaches. Sweet cherries also bloom too early here, but the trees themselves don't survive well here. Apricots on the other hand do very well here, but almost always bloom early and frost off.

I have a few areas on the north sides of my buildings that are almost full shade now. I know in the summer they are full sun, and get NO shade from the building. If I were to plant some trees in these areas do you think the shade in winter and spring will cause them to bloom later?

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Based on my limited experience I think the answer is yes, they will probably break dormancy and bloom later but not by much.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 8:44PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I agree w/ cousin, any help from the shade would probably be very marginal. I have one peach tree in winter shade and it doesn't bloom any later than the others.

I once read a research article that spraying a whole peach tree with a diluted mix of white latex paint delayed bloom by one week. I've never tried it because of too many trees. If you have just a few trees on the north side of your buildings, it might be worth the effort.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 10:42PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I have sweet cherries and an apricot both in the shade all winter by the house... I really haven't paid much attention, but it doesn't seem like it makes much difference. Air temp is a huge factor it would seem... What does help is that the sun never gets a chance to warm the tree up during winter, so the trees stay in very dormant state.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 12:14AM
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In my experience the delay in bloom is pretty minimal for my trees on the north side of the house. Even a nice snow bank back there through March does not seem to make much of a difference come April.

Smaller trees/shrubs on the south side of my house do break dormancy significantly earlier than those in the open however, but then again they also benefit some from stored heat during those late freezes...

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 12:18AM
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