Pomegranate buds keep freezing

Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)February 28, 2011

I put in a pomegranate tree three years ago (understanding that the tree is frost hardy to 20 degrees). Each year the freezes we get (well above 20) are enough to kill the buds that have begun sprouting. Then I wait for the tree to make new buds, trimming off the thin branches that have also been killed. Am I wasting my time? Should I pull the darn thing out of the ground and plant a hardier tree, or does the tree get tougher with a little age?

RB

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I don't understand the freezing of the buds. I have a Punica granitum "Wonderful" and a "Nana". Both 15 years old that bloom well every year. Our low temperature is usually about 26 degrees. The fruit bearing Wonderful seldom bears fruit, due I believe to being located in too cool an area. I seldom prune either tree. Al

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 7:24AM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

Al,
I'm glad your puzzled too. I can't figure it out. Weeks are lost each year when the tree has to develop new buds, so the tree is growing slowly. I wouldn't care except that I planted in a spot where I was wanting a screen. Maybe I'll just shovel prune it.
Bob

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 9:36AM
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Dan Staley

Are you in a cold microclimate? Is the tree planted in a cold microclimate?

Dan

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:51AM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

Yes, I am in a very cool spot, but we have been well above 20 degrees. My tree is "Wonderful" (supposedly).

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:21AM
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Dan Staley

Did you plant properly and are you giving it proper post-planting care to establish properly?

Dan

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:44AM
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elsch

I planted my "Sweet" Pomegrante tree in September-- just lost the tiny new leaves to the freeze as well.

I suspect they are a littly fussy to establish, because mine lost most of its leaves soon after planting. (other trees at the nursery still had their leaves) I believe I have read that they are slow growing.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 6:57PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Elvie pomegranate are not a difficult tree to establish. We had a couple of weeks of warm weather in early February that caused lots of plants that had received sufficient cooling for the season, and were ready to grow, to put out tender new growth. Next we received several days of seasonally low temperatures that burned back the new growth. As soon as we get another stretch of warm weather your tree will start to grow again. Also it is not unusual when planting a tree in the summer from a container, to have the stress of the planting cause defoliation. Al

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 9:45AM
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Dan Staley

My default, as implied above, is when young trees have difficulty establishing they were improperly planted, causing stress and poor establishment.

Although Al has it right that many trees will have problems this year with the weather.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 9:49AM
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kerrican2001(z9b CA)

Hm, we're in Walnut Creek, which is pretty far inland, also had some light frost recently, but our tree is totally leafing out and performs extremely well every year, with tons of huge fruit. You may just be in a cold microclimate, as the recent frost was not strong enough here to damage any tender vegetation.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 10:49AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Two out of three of our pomegranates show no sign of bud swell yet. Al

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 9:13AM
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elsch

Thanks Al. I patiently await new growth.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 8:26PM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

Mt pomegranate shows no signs of re-swelling or new buds. There is green cambium in woody stems greater than 1/8 inch. Will new buds reappear at the base of old, frozen buds, or will news buds pop out from latent buds elsewhere on the stem?
RB

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 11:14AM
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brettay

I have had two Parfianka pomegranates for a couple of years. In the past they have been late to wake up in the spring and have suffered no damage from late frosts, which have generally been mild. This year they woke up early because of a few 80 degree days in February and then we had a freeze down to 25 degrees. They suffered major bud damage. I don't think this is a common occurrence, although perhaps, as other people have mentioned you live in a cold region. I would give it a couple more years prior to giving up.

-Brett

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 11:46AM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

To answer my own question posed here a while back: pomegranates will produce new buds where the old buds were, at least if the stems themselves are not fully killed by the frost. At least that is what mine is finally doing. I had wondered whether a plants buds killed by frost would produce new buds from latent buds along the stem or from the original bud sites.
RB

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 10:43AM
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brettay

Interestingly, the new buds on my pomegranate are at the same level but rotated 90 degrees from the frozen buds.

-Brett

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 12:32PM
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Bob_B(Sunset 14, Ca.)

Wow, that is interesting. I will have to check mine and see if any are like that.

RB

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 8:42PM
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