sad spring in Santa Fe: few flowers

fabaceae_nativeApril 1, 2011

Despite the beautiful, mild (albeit bone dry) weather we have been having here in Santa Fe for the past month, this spring is a sad one for me botanically speaking...

I'm referring to the absence of apricot trees in flower. This time of year I love nothing more than the sight of big old apricot trees in full bloom all over town. I'm still hoping to find some pockets of trees whose buds somehow escaped the killing record cold... maybe in Espanola, Chimayo?

In the southern part of town the only reminder that it's apricot blossom season is a rare lonely flower here and there on some protected courtyard tree, plus the usual blooming ornamentals that share the season (which are all rather blah in my book). I guess I'll just have to wait a week or two for my next favorite of flowering trees here: the redbud.

Anyone else notice any changes like this brought on by that cold spell in Feb? Has everythying bloomed as usual in Albuquerque (which of course did not get quite as cold as here)?

cheers

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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

I've heard of some peach growers north of you that have lost this year's entire crop because of the freeze. Most of our stone fruit trees are finished here, the redbuds are going strong.
We have lots of pines dropping needles like crazy, some of them are completely bare. The hardest hit ones are the Aleppos, the Afghan pines look stressed but most of them still have good needle color.The live oaks are starting to re-leaf after dropping the freeze damaged leaves. The oleanders are getting bare and what leaves that are still attached are very crunchy.
The claret cup cactus are beginning to bloom, other cactus are getting mushier, rotting or haven't decided which way they'll go.
Some palms are starting to show green, others are just looking sad.
Palo verdes are either yellow, black or a sweet potato color. A few are trying to come back from the root.
It's interesting seeing what's coming back and what hasn't decided what to do.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 8:21PM
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John7600(9)

The record cold combined with a frost after some warming has really done a number on the fruit trees on my parents' farm in Tecolotito on the Pecos River. It's questionable whether any of the peaches or apples will set fruit this year. On the brighter side, as you can see from the linked post, some trees and plants are flowering, including wild plum and choke cherry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Earth Echo Farm: Early Harbingers of Spring

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 2:19PM
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albert1(5)

The beautiful old apricot tree at the Unitarian-Universalist Congregtion on Barcelona blossomed beautifully this year and didn't seem to be damaged by the cold - the same is true of our much smaller apricot in Lamy - cherries and apples did fine but the peach tree suffered some but I noted some peaches on it just yesterday. Asparagus started early and is still procucing - rhubarb is looking really good as well. Blue berries were damaged but are now comining on strong.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:00PM
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fabaceae_native

Welcome to the forum Albert. I agree that we are having a beautiful spring this year, but 2011, when I started this thread, was quite different. Last year there truly were no flowers on any apricot or peach trees at all, they had all been killed as buds during the Feb deep freeze. The trees themselves were generally unharmed, and most flowered beautifully this year, and better yet, have even set fruit (compared to last year when even the apples were zapped by early May frosts)!

The bloom and fruit set on apple trees this year was mind blowing. Lilacs have been gorgeous where last year their bloom was also cut short by late frosts. Some of my plants have already put on more growth this spring than they did all growing season last year.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 10:32AM
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rdr115

My apricot and the sand cherry bloomed beautifully this spring (Los Lunas)and then got froze out, yet about a flat quarter mile from me is a big apricot loaded with fruit. That one had fruit last year, too, even after the big freeze. No point in being discouraged however. At least the mulberries are loaded, and I value them healthwise much more than apricots. Actually at this point this spring the most damaging weather has been the unusual heat (an unheard of 100F twice already) and the hot windstorms. The Fritillaries flowered early so weren't affected, but almost all the buds on the Regal lilies have dried up and the flowers on the snapdragons, except for the species Antirrhinums, look like withered crepe paper. Roses pretty sad. It is interesting, however, to note which ornamentals have no problems on this score--Aquilegias, hollyhocks of course, Erodiums and the cold hardy Pelargoniums, and Salvias among others. This morning it hit 39F and all the tomato seedlings were almost flattened, but now that it's heated up they've perked up (thank heavens).

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 1:12PM
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fabaceae_native

Thanks rdr115 for your update... it's always interesting to hear about how things are going in other parts of the state. We also had a cold night last night, around 40, but we have not had anything really hot either, high 80's a few times I guess.

Somehow we lucked out this year, and no fruits got frozen out, although some were definitely thinned with a couple nights in the 20's back in April, and the crazy spring winds recently. Flowering things have been really exceptional too...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 6:45PM
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fabaceae_native

Oh yeah rdr, I almost forgot to ask you about the mulberries. Do you have some favorite picking locations you might divulge? I also love mulberries, but in Santa Fe it's harder to find the fruiting trees. Fruitless males on every block it seems...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 6:48PM
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rdr115

Fabaceae: Yeah, my place. There are six on my half acre--used to be more. Now only one with black fruit and two with white, rest are non fruiting. I've noticed only one fruiting tree on my rides around town--people shy away from them as they they make an unbelievable mess when fruiting. And especially when you have high winds at the same time.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 12:30AM
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