Is the shoot dead after freeze damage?

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)April 13, 2012

I understand most deciduous trees put out another set of buds once damaged but what about conifers?

I'm mainly referring to Abies and Picea in which some shoots just browned or even whited out. Is that shoot dead or will it push another bud?

I don't plan to do anything I'm just curious.

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Conifers confuse me whaas. The whole christmas tree effect where they stay green for awhile.

My thinking is:

If the end of the branch is alive to the point of having "green" in it to the scratch test, the bud at the end may be alive.

If the ends of all the branches turn black and dead brown then it is goners as very few conifers have the ability for "dormant" buds to sprout. Someplace on line I saw a list btw but you could find just as re or unre liable one using google yourself I suppose.

Lets see if the experts agree!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

of course.. only time will tell ...

you know how to tip prune such for size restriction ...

conifers do have the ability .. when taking off the terminal end .. to reset bud on the new growth ..

you can hope such will happen with yours ...

but also.. its odds on.. that not every bud ... was a through hit as you might expect ... nor that the freeze was so deep .. that there is branch damage.. beyond some superficial tissue damage on the new growth ...

who knows.. i am just trying to be optimistic for you ... and only time will tell ...

if i were a betting man.. i would guess zone pushers [even some of the z5's] will not be happy .. but z4 and colder plants.. will cope ...


    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 8:50AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I was about to ask the same thing!

We planted a bunch of small white pine about 2 years ago. They were doing great. They unfortunately put out large, succulent candles too early. On the most exposed one, all the new candles are drooped over.
Our deciduous trees got slammed too. I've seen some of them in the past (with an early warmth, then freeze), drop their leaves and regrow new ones.
Do I just let these possibly dead candles drop off on their own? If I wait and see if they drop off on their own, and they don't, should I cut them off?
I believe that they know what they're doing, so I'm tempted to just step back and let them decide what to do.
But do severely drooped candles mean they're gonners?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:07AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if there was explosive early growth on pine.. due to a heat wave.. they can droop simply from growing too fast ....

and how that works with a frost in addition.. again can only mean..

wait and see what happens ..


    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 9:52AM
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midwest_dave(5b - IL)

I've been waiting for a freeze damage post, I'm curious also. I'm hoping for some back-budding, a second flush in June, or even a stronger push on the surviving buds? Only time will tell and I'm not in a hurry but don't have any experience with such on conifers.

Here are a few examples from my yard:

Picea abies 'Gold Drift' - the terminal bud didn't push anyhow so what's a little freeze damage...

Abies koreana 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' - so much for the bumper crop of cones...

Picea omorika 'Pendula Bruns' - an intact terminal bud!

I guess enrollment in the "weirder the better" club is up this spring.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 11:26AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Hmm, I was expecting someone would have had some experience with dieback similar to Dave's pics above.

Almost a week later and the majority of all deciduous plants have damage (including some stem dieback).

Anyone keeping up with how many freezes (temps 32 or lower) they've had? I've had 8 alone this month so far. I can't even tell you how many frosts there have been.

This weekend gave way to temps in the 70s so more conifers are breaking bud. Low and beyond this April witch will not give up...3 freezes forecasted this week. One of which will get close to a record. April showers aren't giving way to May flowers but April freezes bringing May damage.

The only reprieve I have is that I'm thankful that I/we haven't been subjected to tornadoes. Thoughts and prayers go to those who have been impacted.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 4:32PM
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