Add up the losses of spring....

tom_mn(z4b_MN)April 28, 2007

Aside from the bunny damage mentioned earlier (I did finally kill one, felt GREAT!), here is the tally of losses to the frigid first week of April:

Merril Magnolia: No blooms at all, for the first time in 8 years it lost its flowers-- is leafing out well tho.

Roses: Mostly died to the ground, but there is new growth.

Forsythia: Fully flowered, but half of the petals were black, first time ever not full blooms.

Korean Maple: 8 ft tall, half of it is dead, some leafing out coming from the trunk.

No damage at all: Japanese maple, redbud, quince, Leonard Messel magnolia

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My crabapple took a beating. Most buds on the old spurs are dead. Little dormant buds are sprouting from the base of the spurs. It's not going to flower well this year. Three sedum also disappeared over the winter. Go figure. The things I worried about over the winter are fine and a few of the things I don't think twice about have damage or are dead.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 7:16PM
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My peach tree doesn't look like it's going to flower this year, and I think I lost a young plum tree I planted last year. Other then the rest of the plums and the apricots, which are blooming now, I didn't think to check any of the other dwarf fruit trees I have.

I think I lost several endless summer hydrangea. I mulched them well in the fall and it looks like something got to them.

With all the neglect my garden got last year and last fall, I'm actually surprised at just how much has made it!

I tried some of that spray on rabbit repellant (I HATE RABBITS) and so far it's been pretty good at keeping the vermin away from my newly emerging lilies, daylilies, roses and clematis.

I've been experiementing with some serious zone stretching for the past couple of years and so far, it's year three for two small Brown Turkey Figs (because I have to prune them so much to wrap them in the winter, they are more 'bushes' than trees). I'm going to plant a couple of Basjoo banana's in a couple of weeks and see if I can't get them to make it through a winter (heavily protected, of course).

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 1:08AM
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RE: Endless Summer, I have one and a Nikko Blue, and I think the ordinary Nikko is hardier and better performing.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 11:14AM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I lost a couple of fall planted Sunset Echinacea, three Caramel Heuchera look iffy, no sign yet of ligularia Britt Marie Crawford (spring planted last year) or Masterwort Ruby Wedding (also planted last spring) I think it's time to give up on Brunnera Jack Frost 2nd time I've planted and lost that one. All in all a nasty winter for plants.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 7:29PM
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meeperx(z4/5 Mpls)

All my losses so far seem to have been from the nasty cold snap this April:

I lost a hakuro Nishiki standard that was starting to bud out (not sure it was a good graft anyways)-and-something I would never have expected-3 Bergenias. They are so hardy normally-so I made the mistake of thinking I didn't have to cover them before the snap. Bad mistake.

My little Emporer I japanese maple made it just fine (it was very well protected) and is leafing out beautifully.

Most of my spices seem to be coming back as well-lemon balm, french tarragon, sage, etc.

All in all-it was great, mild winter for me. April was another story...

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 7:59PM
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meeperx(z4/5 Mpls)

I gave up on Brunnera Jack Frost after 2 trys as well. Has anyone ever successfully grown this plant in MN?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 8:24PM
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Funny thing, the only thing I have seen not doing so well is some daylillies I planted along the east side of my house and they never get much sunlight anyway and are even in bricks and along the edge of the house. They were starting to get over 6" tall when that 10 day cold snap hit. No loss if they don't bloom but they are now showing signs of recovering.

My boulevard tulips got a quick straw covering on the second day of the cold. They are now all in full bloom. My mini purple plum trees look the same as last year as do the perennials that are in the same bed. Other perennials have now sprouted. Some ferns in my rock garden area are now popping up as are strawberries. My river vines on a fence have not budded yet and they are about three years old but I think the 80's temps will change that.

Must have been warmer in the city. I planted annuals and veggies during this last week. There will be no more frost or snow. Tail light guarantee.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 2:43AM
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newgrdenrmn(z4 MN)

I lost a small apple tree and a few raspberry plants to our new puppy and possible a rose bush too! Thank goodness for him he is soooooo cute, otherwise he'd probably be at the Pound! :-)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 10:39PM
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It's interesting that the supposedly hardy Korean maple is having problems, while the more tender Japanese maple is fine. Any insights as to why?

Bergenia has always been a bit fickle for me and looks terrible right now. Otherwise most losses are thing I shouldn't grow anyway - acanthus, mahonia and a chinese epimedium.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 11:14PM
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nordbyc(zone 4)

Put me down as another with a dead Korean maple !

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 11:40PM
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I have given up on my bald cypress I think. I swear it was alive, or at least still green, when I pruned out a double leader and limbed it up a bit in March. I think that April cold snap did some damage. Oh well.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:01AM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I have to take back my Jack Frost Brunnera comment. I looked again yesterday and it is just poking through. YEAH! But Britt Marie Crawford is definitely a goner. Think I'll wait to try that one again till I hear more feedback on it. Many of my hosta are just starting to show, so guess I;ll have to wait a bit to know about those.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:21AM
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Unless they are very slow to start out in spring, I lost the 3 butterfly weeds I planted last fall. Most of the tulips I planted in October came up but not all of them. It also appears only 1 of 4 cone flowers have come up.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 2:27PM
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Your butterfly weeds may still show up. In the past, I believe mine have popped after EVERYTHING else. Probably June. Haven't seen my new one that I planted last Spring yet. Things seem very slow in parts of my yard. Balloon flowers are late to show, too. I very carefully marked them last fall, and now there is no trace of my markers.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 4:04PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

There seems to be a lot of genetic variation in Korean maples. And in other characteristics besides winter hardiness too. I think I tried 4 KM's before I found a hardy one, then as it grew to about 6-8 feet it succumb to verticillium wilt. Sigh. Oh well, lots of other good stuff to try. BTW, my Yellowhorn also succumb to verticillium at about 10 ft. Wonderful while I had it though. I am sure it would help if I watered my lawn during droughts. The cracking of the soil certainly tears the roots and provides perfect wounds for wilt invasion. I'm just stupid, lazy, waterwise, silly or foolish. Take your pick. LOL

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 7:59PM
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Balloon flowers are absolutely the last things to pop up every year - I never do any poking around until those show since they do shift a bit. I don't see any traces of my Redebeckia yet though, and they're several years old. Probably haven't lost anything - just the erratic weather throwing the growing schedule off. I hope, I hope.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:07PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Butterfly weed and balloon flowers are both very late to show up, so be patient with those. Think one of my Russian Sage bit the dust too. Guess I'll give that another week before I start yanking it out.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 11:14PM
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Korean maple: I have 2, the one in the front yard is fine (but still uner 3 ft tall at 7 years???), the one in the back is mostly dead, but has growth about. I pruned it severely to see if I could cause more buds to burst.

Hardiness: we are trained to look at lowest winter temperature as the breaking point, but lately I think it is the funky springs that are becoming an important factor in hardiness, esp. since the lowest temps are higher than 15 years ago.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 11:48PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Funky springs, and funky winters.

I think perennial hibiscus is the last to pop in the spring. My balloon flowers are showing inch sprouts now, but that is in a garden that heats rather quickly.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 2:51PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

P.S. Julie:
Aristolochia fimbriata has almost 2 inches of new stem!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 2:56PM
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No winter loss other than what I normally get. My robust Sargent cherry didn't flower again. It's a great tree with all sorts of positives, but the flower buds are a zone more tender than the leaf buds are.

I have never had any damage to my Korean maple which is now in flower. The flowers are ruby red and held in tiny bunches. The effect is if dangling raspberries. It's fifteen feet tall.

Bald cypress branches are tender the closer they are to the ground (snow reflection?). My tree is easily twenty feet tall now. It's starting to grow those knees out of the soil. Keep your tree through those first few winters to establish it, then stand back and watch it grow -- fast.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 9:21PM
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If you recall, we bought our Korean maples at the same time and place (at your recommendation on this site). I have mixed feelings about the 2 trees I bought. The one in the front yard turns red in August and is practically self-bonsaiing, barely 3 ft tall. I even dug it up last year to see if there was a girdling issue-- but the roots looked fine.

The one in back was my star till this spring, about 10' with very nice fall color, many colors at once. I wonder if there was a drought issue last year since I don't water it, or if this tree does poorly on clay.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 7:09PM
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My Korean maple is pretty vigorous. I planted it on the north side of the house where it's shaded during the hottest part of the day. This means the soil is cool. I never water mine. I did amend the soil with quite a bit of compost when I planted in five (?) years ago. The soil here is nothing special -- mostly clay.

I cut it back two years ago but that just encouraged it to throw four foot vertical branches. My research tells me the plant will attain the tiered, horizontal look on its own. I'm just going to stand back and let it grow, though I will limb it up a bit. Here's a close-up of the flowers:

The leaves' color each fall is a parrot's pastiche of oranges, splashy reds and yellows, all parti-colored on each leaf.

Since the plants we purchased from Green Value were not labeled cultivars, it may be that these are grown from seed. If this is true, they may be a varied lot: a litter of mixed hardiness, habit and sensitivity. I am now seeing KM in nurseries everywhere. I understand the U of M is using KM to lend hardiness to its Japanese maple program. Who knows? Maybe in a few years there may be a JM for zone 4. I have a friend who grows his KM in zone 3 North Dakota with little problem. Don't give up.

A bit early to show my bald cypress, but here's a picture I took an hour ago. It is just now beginning to bud out.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 8:07PM
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Thanks for the photos. My tree looked very similar to yours until this spring. Mine is on the north side of a spruce. I feel that the Japanese maples Bloodgood or Emperor I are proven zone 4 trees already.

I like your photoshop arrows!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 9:07AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Plain ol' Bloodgood has never been fully hardy for me. I have it under oak wooded park like setting on the north side of a large hill. No winter sun. Planted in 1985, it grows and dies back every year, and all-in-all, hasn't made much progress at 2ft x 2ft or so. Even my Sciadopitys did better than that there. It's not all by its lonesome, and in improved sandy gravel soil. Growing in my oldest conifer bed, other things seem to like it there. If you could see it, it would be in the top left of the "dwarf" conifer bed:

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 7:19PM
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Winter survivors and goners. . . my balloon flower decided to present itself within the last couple of days. I plan to pull the plug on the "no shows" in the next day or two. These include trumpet vine, butterfly weed, mock orange, Morden Sunrise and some oriental lilies. Do you think I should wait longer on any of these? I have been nurturing what I thought was a butterfly weedÂturned out to be a volunteer common white alyssum. Variegated dogwood and dwarf burning bush alive, but anemic.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 10:53AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Two years ago I planted a gas plant and it did not survive the season. Nothing again last year so I was sure it was gone and planted something else in the same area. Surprise, this spring the gas plant has come up and is growing great. Same with a martagon lily.

I cut my mock orange back to the ground a couple of years ago. They have come back but are very short. Do they need full sun? A young maple has grown so much that what used to be a very sunny site is now part shade/shade.

You can easily grow more butterfly weed from seed. My butterfly bush in a part shade area comes out very late, nothing yet. The one is more sunlight already has growth.

Two mums that I have had for five years did not survive the winter. The My Favorite mums all survived.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 5:20PM
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