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In the frying pan

Posted by dcsteg 5b (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 23, 11 at 18:37

I have been gardening a number of years but this years unrelenting heat pattern is nothing like I have seen before.

It has not rained since the 12th of July and every day a 100+ with no relief in the forecast for next week.

My place has become tent city. All new plantings are under the net. There is just not enough supporting cast of roots to protect what is exposed on the top side. Hopefully the screen technique will save most of those showing stress. GInkgo's and Acer palms. are frying and dropping leaves but will recover. All other established conifers are showing stress but I feel should make it through with little or no damage.

I have reach a point that you tell yourself enough is enough. There is only so much you can do. It could get serious if thing go on for another several weeks.

A few photos.

Dave

Pinus sylvestris 'Pixie'. It developed the gray cast few weeks ago and then turned brown overnight. It checked out fairly quick.

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Pinus parviflora 'Glauca' Tip burn on southwest side only.
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Cham. obtusa 'Aurea' New this year and B&B. Loosing color and under stress exposed to 8 hours of sun and heat. This is one that I didn't want to loose. It is now stabilized. East, south and west sides are in the protected mode till the weather improves.

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I'll screen this. If no other further damage occurs I will rotate it 180 in the fall and let it rebuild itself.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: In the frying pan

that's an impressive heat wave...
not even in subtropical south Brazil have I seen Chamaecyparis obtusa "Aurea" suffer from heat!


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RE: In the frying pan

This current weather pattern we're experience(I saw we, I mean most of the U.S.) is stunning. Working on two weeks of this high pressure system(s) and constant high 90 to 100+ highs. Normally I am guessing you see low 90s, Dave, and occasional rain/thunderstorm breaking up the heat?

Long-term forcasts(I'm kind of a weather nerd and use multiple weather models), show at least a chance of a low pressure trough coming through by next Friday/Saturday/Sunday. That's a lot more heat inbetween though.

Can you use icecubes near especially tender plants? Based on your photos and apparent mindset, you've probably thought about everything.

Hunker down, things always improve eventually.

-Will


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RE: In the frying pan

Yes Will, I have about covered all the bases I care to. This insanity will just have to run its course.

A weather nerd I am ..since I was a kid. The thing that puts the real hurt on things is no rain. A common occurrence here in normal times.

I have a friend that uses ice cubes under his Abies koreana 'Silberlocke' with some degree of success. I saw it last year in a state of decline. I suppose it has now succumb to the heat and humidity.

Next week will be intense. Water where needed and several hose downs a day. Never have I done that before.

Dave


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RE: In the frying pan

Totally agree this weather is insane. Had similar heat and drought last year and lost several plants before I erected shades. This year, much of the same and so far only one death. No end in sight for this wretched heat around here and no rain since beginning of month. Don't know how much longer some of my stuff will be able to hang on.


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RE: In the frying pan

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 23, 11 at 21:38

Dave, your a good 10 degrees hotter down there and I feel like its brutal around here, especially the humidity.

Fortunately we've received a quick 1/2" downpour once each of the last two weeks. I hope the rain comes quick for those in need.


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RE: In the frying pan

Here in Chicago, we've been baking in the record heat with only trace amounts on rain since June (this was the wrong year to plant abies, lemme tell you). Until last night, that is, when the heavens opened up and dumped a whopping 6.5 inches of rain on us. The two all time records for rain events in Chicago are both within the last 3 years. Seems like we alternate between drought and basement-flooding, biblical proportion rains...

Here is a link that might be useful: Historic rains in Chicago


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  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 24, 11 at 8:47

Thats what happened to us two years ago and then the driest August on record.

At least you won't have to water for a couple weeks, lol.

Storms keep missing me, missed another one last night. Only got an 1/8".


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RE: In the frying pan

Feeling for you,Dave. I hope you guys get a break soon! T.


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RE: In the frying pan

Went down to the coast today.

Regretted not taking gloves.

Resin


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RE: In the frying pan

"Regretted not taking gloves."

How come? Do you normally wear gloves in the summer time?

Dave


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RE: In the frying pan

I seem to recall Resin is in Scotland. And yes, Scotland is not very warm in summer. Edinburgh is probably the warmest station and maxes out at 66F/51F. This means if they have a cool spell, summer highs might only be in the upper 50s. Even as "far south" as London, a summer day can have drizzle and temps around 60F. By contrast even the legendarily cold San Francisco hits 71/56F in September. Even Brookings and Port Angeles are slightly warmer, Brookings for the same reason as San Francisco of having a relatively warm, sunny September.

(people in the UK already know this, so I'm writing for an American audience using our archaic system)


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RE: In the frying pan

I planted a 1 gallon Golden Fernspray Hinoki in the spring, and now all of its golden foliage has burned to a crispy brown. I am not sure it will be worth keeping. It looked fine until the heat set in.


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RE: In the frying pan

Still chilly here, max today 15°, and just 13° at the coast with a stiff onshore breeze (5° or 10° windchill).

According to last night's weather report, a place in Scotland didn't get above 11° yesterday.

Resin


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RE: In the frying pan

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 26, 11 at 20:22

What does that really mean?
Is it a crazy swing for you?
Are your plants struggling?


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RE: In the frying pan

Well, I guess plants that find a high of 52F in the middle of summer to be cold are struggling! haha.
That's pretty exceptional though, I would think, even for Scotland. I think a regular low being a high is about as cool as most places get. Say in Washington, DC, a high of 68F in summer would be very unusual, and would never be clear weather, only an odd drizzly spell. (It has happened before, I remember once around 1991 or so a couple days like that happened in a row) Seems the world's maritime climates are getting "extra maritime with minty freshness" this year, while the rest of us are boiling our a--es off.


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RE: In the frying pan

Going to be 25c/74f here today with a clear sky.


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On the other side of the coin...102 F. Heat index values as high as 109.

A chance for spotty showers and T-storms. Still no relief in the foreseeable future.

No rain since July 12th.

Dave


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RE: In the frying pan

Here is my Norway spruce planted last fall. Has lost old needles on the west side prior to the screen going up. You can see the needle burn on new growth and the yellow hue to the tree. We are on day 34 of over 100 degrees this year in OK. No good rain since early June. Assuming we have 15-20 more days of 100 this summer. Do you think it stands a chance?

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RE: In the frying pan

This is a hard one to correctly diagnose because of to many variables.

All damage was initially environmentally caused by drought and heat.

Symptoms are usually die back that begins from the needle tips and moves back toward the branch, in a rather uniform pattern. Sometime whole branches or portions of the tree may be killed. Color varies from brown to yellow to reddish-brown.

In areas with heavy clay soil or very shallow water tables, another cause of die back can be soils saturated with water, leading to oxygen starvation of the roots. If needles three or more years old are dying, the problem is not too serious. If new growth is affected, chances of recovery are not as good. Yours seems to have both issues.

Being from OK you probably have the heavy red clay soil.

Seeing the hose in you photo I am wondering if you are over watering which is a natural inclination for most people to do when a plant is dieing.

To help prevent die further back, stop watering until soil completely dries out. Repeat this process till autumn. Then give it one final deep watering after deciduous trees have changed to autumn color, but before the ground freezes. Water the entire area under and around the tree half again beyond the drip line of the spruce. For example, if the branches extend six feet from the tree trunk, water at least nine feet around the trunk.

If the tree survives into spring water again, as soon as the ground thaws. This will again provide the tree with important moisture it may have lost during winter.

Several other things that may factor in the poor performance of this spruce is a bad dig on the root ball. I am assuming it is B&B considering its size. One other factor is it had a broken root ball. If this is the case it is a goner for sure with the heat and drought.

At any rate I hope you saved your receipt. You may need it if you intend to replant.

Good luck,

Dave


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Not one drop last night at my house in south Johnson Co. Sat outside and watched the lightning for over an hour.


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The tree seems to have stabilized after I put the shade up. Doesn't look better, but not much worse. Definitely some burn on the tips of the new needles, but not much loss. I'm taking your advise on not too much water, that could be an issue.

Here is to another week in the frying pan. 105-110 forecast for tuesday through Thursday.


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With another week of 100 plus temperatures and no rain in the forecast my garden is slowly becoming tent city. I even had to screen my 'Skylands' as it was beginning to show stress. If I remember right the last extensive high heat, no moisture event was in 1980 very similar to what is going on now.

Things holding up well. If not for the screening and controlled watering I am sure damage would be considerable. To much time and money invested to just kick sand at it and let it go.

Dave

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RE: In the frying pan

dcsteg, for those of us with less experience can you post a picture of what a conifer or two look like when you decide it is time to screen them?

Something like...when your skylands is this crispy looking you better put the screen up.

Thanks for all the pictures, they really accelerate the learning curve for everyone.


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RE: In the frying pan

  • Posted by j0nd03 7 west/central AR (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 30, 11 at 19:28

Let's see... we are on our 26 day in a row of 100+ officially at the airport in Fort Smith AR, although I am 3-5* warmer than the official temp most of the time. Really, the only conifers I have planted are two Picea Pungens glauca globosa. The new growth is still a bright blue, but it is browning some in the interior which has moved outward some since I took these pics 2 weeks ago. We picked up .4" two weeks ago which is our only rain since May. I am trying to let them dry out between watering but that is hard to do since my instincts are to water it 2x/week at 5 gallons per. I am amazed they are still alive after everything I have read. I planted them this spring around mid April I think. The browning is a little worse now after I look at the pics again. I may take more. Anything else I need to be aware of?

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By jp_42_82 at 2011-07-13

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By jp_42_82 at 2011-07-13

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By jp_42_82 at 2011-07-30

I CAN NOT WAIT until this weather pattern is over!! I don't have near the money, time, labor and love invested into my stuff that many of you have. Hopefully the coming years will be a bit nicer to us.


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RE: In the frying pan

Very sorry you guys are suffering so much. I am sending as much good karma your way as I can. Hope in rains and get some cooler temperatures.
Gary


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  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 31, 11 at 12:51

I wish I could send you guys our morning drizzle and 59 degrees. Good working weather!
Maybe some shade would do. ;-)

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Shade


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RE: In the frying pan

toronado3800,

A daily check or run through your garden under these heat/drought conditions will catch potential heat related issues.

Any change of the color, usually dulling out or fading to a lighter hue then to brown indicates stress. In this case heat stress. Tip damage and needle cast are also good indicators as in the 'Skylands'.

Both Chamaecyparis obtusa are in 8 hours of sun. Under normal conditions they do quit well but when exposed day after day to 100 F. plus temps they will succumb if not protected. I am only referring to my micro climate

All Picea pungens are not showing any stress at all. I have my own idea why that is.

Dave

'Skylands'.

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Cham. obtusa 'Nana Lutea'.

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Cham. obtusa 'Aurea'

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RE: In the frying pan

My question being new to conifers is: How well will spruce specifically recover from this heat damage? I have everything from black hills spruce that has brown needles on the top(green on bottom) of each branches new growth, to a Norway with brown tips all over and some old and new needle loss on the west side to pungens with only a few branches of yellowing on the top side of the new growth. I know the compromised needles will never recover, but will the tree as a whole in time? Are buds dead where needle browning or loss has occurred. Should some of the trees be euthanized and replaced or will they look like new next spring?


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RE: In the frying pan

Man, and I think it's hot up here! At least, we get rain every two-three days. It has been hot though.

+oM


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The damage in those Hinoki pics is EXACTLY what I am seeing on my Golden Fernspray Hinoki. I guess I could screen it but at this point I'm thinking I'll probably just yank it in the fall.. it has only been in the ground since the spring...


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RE: In the frying pan

Thanks for the pics.

I actually saw that on the year old growth of my skylands earlier in the year when it was first warming up. Now it is in quite a bit of shade and believe it or not, looking relieved.


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RE: In the frying pan

  • Posted by j0nd03 7 west/central AR (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 1, 11 at 10:02

I know we still don't have anything on most of Texas, but here it is. The hottest month on record all time in Fort Smith, AR was this past July. Also note, only .22" of precip fell. Average temp according to local tv station blog was 91.2, the only recorded month with an average temp over 90.

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By jp_42_82 at 2011-08-01


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credit to...

  • Posted by j0nd03 7 west/central AR (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 1, 11 at 10:20

image courtesy of weatherunderground*


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RE: In the frying pan

I have been watching this for the last week. Never any evidence of insects. The foliage is good on under side of branch,

The intense sun and heat apparently has just fried the foliage off the top side of this conifer. That's my guess. I just see nothing eating on this plant. I'll probably have it checked out by a professional...my bug man.

Dave

Pinus strobus 'Pendula' has never done well here when temps are 90 plus for and extended time frame.

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Biblical.


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RE: In the frying pan

loaded dice, rolling 13s

we have had a hot + wet summer, very atypical, and we're in a narrow band of the middle south that isn't totally screwed

you guys be on the look out for sawfly larve / sawflies

the last drought we had in this area (in 2007, right before I moved down south) hit the nursery/conifer guys pretty hard. we also had some (manageable) show up in 2010 around mid-August that were well into stripping my nearly 3 year old dawn redwoods and bald cypress.

i wish you all the best, but i fear we're going to be playing with loaded climate dice for the rest of our lives


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102 degrees today in Saint Louis.... According to the stat in my car, the blacktop parking lot at my work was 113 degrees. Walking out to my car is like walking into a frying pan.


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RE: In the frying pan

That sure was a hit 102 today John!

You also bring up a good point about the "near or on pavement" temps.

One day I am going to run a couple tests about temps in the middle of my yard where we have 125 feet between driveways and 211 between the house and the street vs on my back pavement vs the supermarket parking lot vs my mother in law's typical suburbal lot.

My working theory is since we are twelve degrees above average at 102 and it feels hot as heck then paved areas being another ten degrees warmer are all the harder on trees.


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RE: In the frying pan

112F. here yesterday.

This morning at 6:00 AM 82 F. with 80% humidity. Perfect Abies growing weather. 20% chance of thunder storms today...that will never happen.

Dave


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RE: In the frying pan

  • Posted by j0nd03 7 west/central AR (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 3, 11 at 9:07

Fingers crossed for you Dave! That humidity is the real killer IMO. The dry heat we have now due to lack of rain the past 2 months is not quite as bad as it usually is when our humidity is so high along with the 100*.

It gets very discouraging having to water for months on end just keep stuff alive! I started all my plantings last year and while it was not quite as hot (only 20 something 100*+ days) and we had a much wetter June, I was watering several times a week in July and August. Almost to the point of not caring if this continues for a couple more years...

118* when I got home from work, then 119.9* as the high on the thermostat at the house yesterday, supposed to be even hotter today. Whatever... anything over 105* feels nearly unbearable to me.

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By jp_42_82 at 2011-08-03

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By jp_42_82 at 2011-08-03


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RE: In the frying pan

I am not betting on the rain either, but the roofers are replacing my roof today so maybe that will make it rain Ha! It is depressing driving around KC and seeing everything so dry. So far I have lost only one shrub, but being a transplant from Michigan most of my landscape reflects that and prefers cool moist environments. Hosta and ferns look like hell. Conifers holding on.


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  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 3, 11 at 9:22

We had 90 degrees with 85 humidity yesterday. The heck with the plants, you can barely breath in that. People are passing away in this crap.


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  • Posted by j0nd03 7 west/central AR (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 3, 11 at 10:58

whaas,

What does it take, around 1-2 seconds out the door to start sweating in that crap? I hate when I have taken a shower in the evening, but have to go outside real quick to turn the water faucets off, get the mail, etc only to be dripping with sweat head to toe after a couple of minutes.

I feel for all of you putting up with high humidity and 100*+ temps, I really do. Hopefully, only another month at most before temps come down from at least from the triple digits.


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  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 3, 11 at 11:06

Right on, as I leave for work to jump in the car in the garage I'm already sweating. Its actually nice today, low 80s and humidity in the upper 40s.

I'll take the winter over that heat and humidity.

I've gotten pretty lucky and haven't seen any heat damage with my plants. But our temps are pale in comparison to 100+ temps...that is just not right.


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We finally got some relief today.

Dave

2-25-2011


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  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 3, 11 at 13:01

Don't you wish you could just run outside and do a snow angel right now?lol?


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Ha ha ha ha! LOL! Dave, it's good to see you still keep you humour inspite the fact your beautiful garden suffers.
Here (South, mountainous Greece) we had 32 days of no rain with max tempratures of 92-95 and low at 60. Today it rained for two hours making me and my plants quite happy. Today max was 85 and we are expecting 5-6 days at similar rate.
Best wishes to all that suffer this summer.

Best regards,
Fotis


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RE: In the frying pan

I'm surprised the picture hasn't melted !!!
Someone should invent the cool suit, or at least a hat that can be filled with ice cubes and topped up when required! Courage! T.


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Even the photo camara could have melted to, it looks very dangerous to took it outside with these hot temperatures!
Dave, how is the situation now, any temperature changes in the meanwhile?


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RE: In the frying pan

Dave, that was a great photo...It is very hard to keep any sense of humor with this oppressive weather pattern. Each morning I walk through the nursery and make note of what plants to haul away, either to the "hospital" - an out of the way storage area, or just send them to the brush pile...

Saw this in 1980, then again in 2000, and then 2005. So it's not like it's never happened before, but it doesn't make it much easier to see a thousand dollars of nursery stock in the brush pile...

I don't post here often, but I am indeed a way out there conifer nut, and I encourage my customers to try some unusual specimens in their landscape. But this summer, I'm looking around, and I see why midwest nurserymen and gardeners have used junipers here for decades. It's because they work, year in, year out.

Oh, we picked up 1/2" of rain, and it's supposed to moderate to only 98 degrees tomorrow...

brian


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  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 5, 11 at 19:26

Funny, I feel like junipers are the worst/tired looking conifers in my area.


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RE: In the frying pan

Edwin,

112F. on the 3rd. 90's on the 4th.

We had a light shower this morning and temps stayed in the lower 90's. Humidity is around 55% so not much relief is noticeable. We are headed for another round of hot temps but it will be short lived. Relief will come at the beginning of the week with a cold front pushing temps back to the lower 80's with rain showers.

I have lost 10-12 cultivars. 4 out of the 5 I purchased from Bob Fincham on standards fried despite my efforts to save them. That was a big lost and an expensive one to boot. I have 16 under shade cloth and stabilized. My garden looks like tent city. Hopefully I can start to remove the shade cloth as the weather begins to improve next week.

The last time we had to endure similar high temps and humidity was 28 years ago. I'll do a little follow up story later on what a weird year this has been after we get through August.

Brian,

Where in N.E. KS. are you? Sorry about your losses.

Your nursery name?

Dave


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I lost five here and a sixth looks to be checking out soon. I was viewing your weather yesterday, Dave, just as you said there's relief coming.

Dax


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RE: In the frying pan

Minimal losses here, probably because the brutal heat has been punctuated by major downpours.

However, I did just lose my newly planted Abies koreana 'Verdener Dom' (no refund policy from the vendor). Came out one morning and it had suddenly dropped all of its needles. I'm not sure if was the unrelenting heat/humidity or the nonstop rain we've had the past two weeks...or maybe a combination of the two?

Debating on whether I should try another Abies koreana...or switch to a different genus?


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While some North-Americans are having a brutal summer, I'm having a very wet winter in South-America. All the forecasts were wrong...
300mm rain in the month of july (12 inches), and so far 200mm (8 inches) in the first 9 days of august!
I've checked my AHS heat zone. It has been zone 7 for the past few years (between 61 and 90 days above 30C per year), not as hot as I thought actually, comparing to the US. It's the humidity that makes our summers so heavy.
Gus


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Today's the fifth day in a row now likely to make it to 70. Sunshine is present but it's frequently broken by clouds. No rain though, a total of 1.22 inches since July 1st. Plants seem happy and I know I sure like working in the garden in these pleasant temps. We have had TWO days above 80 degrees this year, something of a record for mildness here. Normally we have at least a few bouts with 'heat' that reach into the 90s but no sign of it this year. We can probably blame(or thank) the huge high pressure system stuck over Texas for our weather, redirecting the jetstream and subsequent clouds over our state.

-Will


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Here in zone 5, we are supposed to receive what the weatherman called "heavy rain" tomorrow. Hope he is right.

No one has mentioned pruning the sunburned branches. Should they be pruned? Now or wait until spring? I am running a tiny trickle of water on my fir tree right now. If it does rain tomorrow, will turn off the hose. I will erect a shade if it gets ungodly hot again.


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RE: In the frying pan

The heat wave has finally subsided here. Temps in low to mid 80's which is normal. I did see 95 for Wednesday of next week but that will be short lived. Still no rain. Less them 1/4 inch of rain since July 12th.

Probably lost about 20 conifers with another 5 developing that gray cast. When that happens the plant is dead or close to it.

Rebuilding time next spring. I hope the market can sustain providing rare and unusual conifers for the collector. The outlook is not good with the bad economy. Most growers are pulling back and now providing the bread and butter conifers for sale. Right now that is where the money is and you can't blame them. Rare offerings will be at a premium next spring. That's the word that has been channeled to me. If your order up this fall for next spring delivery you stand a good chance of getting most of those. My want list comprised of 12 that I wanted. I will receive 7.

My advice...go get them while the getting is good. The market is going in to survival mode.

Dave


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  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 12, 11 at 10:51

Hasn't it been that way for a couple years now?


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20 huh Dave with probably 4-5 more to go. Hope it rains buckets for everyone... this summer is really odd.

Dax


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  • Posted by chohio 5-6 Dayton Ohio (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 13, 11 at 5:29

So sorry for all the losses. I'm hearing that we can expect similar weather next summer, if not indefinitely. Hope things get better for you soon.
Cher


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RE: In the frying pan

Dave:

Sorry for your losses. Were they primarily heat sensitive cultivars, like the Hinoki cypresses you mentioned earlier, or did you have losses across the board? 25 losses sounds like 5% of your total stock, so I can only imagine how you feel.

In the past week, I've lost a couple more Abies that I planted this year. I would like to think Chicago is far enough north that it's "Abies safe", but I'm beginning to wonder.


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RE: In the frying pan

We've had the opposite here, nothing but rain all summer! Hope you get some soon Dave!


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