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Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Posted by thane z8 Bellevue, WA (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 30, 08 at 18:45

My garden was under about 2' of snow, and I waited until it stopped snowing before shovelling it all off of the plants. Almost everything seems fine, with a few exceptions.

Some of my rosemarys look dead. Three turned blackish and one turned black and brown.

My Diplacus aurantiacus (aka Mimulus) turned brown and black. I'm hopeful for a spring recovery.

About 1/3 of the penstemons turned blackish. I know they're tough, so I'm counting on some new growth.

I have two Grevillea victoriae -- one in the ground and one in a pot. As you might imagine, the one in the pot shows quite a bit of damage to the leaves, and may be on its way out. The one in the ground has a few leaves turning brown, and several leaves that are still green. (It's a small plant.) I know I should have brought the potted one inside... I had quite a bit going on. :(

I also lost a very well-situated branch on a vine maple. The branch went right in front of my window and it was wonderful to watch the birds eating insects on it.

Not too bad, I think. How did everyone else fare?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I can't find my garden yet. Still a foot of snow here.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I figure I won't really know until springwhat has made it and what hasn't. My New Zealand flax looks black and terrible. The heucheras that I covered with grocery store bags look great. I haven't seen the others yet. I hope my Japanese maples are okay. I spent way too much on them. I won't replace anything that didn't make it. I know this was a very unusual cold spell, but I don't give most plants a second chance. The mountain laurel looks okay. I hope it stays that way. The berries should all be fine. The winds that were due tonight haven't started up yet. I would be happy if my vine maple lost a bit of branches. It is way too big for my liking, but my DH won't hear of cutting it back.

I have been looking at seed catalogs all day. It's only 4 months until we can plant again - that's good news anyway.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

We had over 3 feet of snow up here. Some of the fruit trees are definitely damaged and the pyramidalis that line the driveway look like they could be. We still have so much snow on the ground that it's hard to tell about any of the smaller plants. We feel lucky that we saved the roof since we had to put up supports to keep it from caving in.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

  • Posted by thane z8 Bellevue, WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 31, 08 at 12:50

Hebe 'Autumn Glory' is shrivelling and turning brown. I know they're a bit iffy in our climate. Do they sometimes die back and return in spring? :(


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

My Macaabeanum Big Leaf Rhododendron shows some leaf burn from the cold, but it is not dead. It is reputed hardy to about +15 so we went to the wire.

Here is a link that might be useful: Macaabeanum flowers


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Walking around Edmonds I see many trailing Rosemary are black/brown, as are several of mine. Hebe types like 'Amy' do not look happy at all. My Hebe 'Midsummer Beauty' (which were in full bloom immediately before the first freezing temps on Dec 14) look dreadful. The Phormiums took a hit as well. Time will tell on all of these.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

It is way to soon to know the end results on most things, I do know I have had a lot of damage to my beloved evergreen exotics. There is also too much snow left to make many judgements. I have three blackened Corokia 'Sunsplash' that are very sad looking. I do expect them to come back but it will take a while.
Below is a Rhododendron protistum. I will be amazed if this survives. As you can see it's not looking very good...I knew it was a long shot when I planted it out.
Photobucket
Some restios will need to start over as they are all broken!
Elegia capensis
My Azara microphylla needs to be replanted!
Azara microphylla


We still have a lot of winter left too!!!!


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Mary, at least your restio is alive... all that snow cover must have offered some protection. Is that a variegated Pittosporum eugenioides??


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I'm surprised that my garden doesn't show more damage.....I am not a great one for schlepping plants indoors for cold protection nor do I provide any special care for some marginal ones in the ground. If it lives, great; if not, that only means some room opens up for something else.

Coprosma 'Rainbow Sunrise' in a large container on my patio now for the third winter looks sad.....not much of a rainbow anymore:-( Corokia 'Tutti Frutti' in a container right next to it looks great, tho. Hebe 'Silver Dollar' is looking a bit cold burned, 'Nichola's Blush' looks like it's toast but various pitts look fine. And I did lose a few succulents that were on my covered back porch but never made it inside.

I haven't been all the way out to the back to look, but I'd guess the buds that were on the Edgeworthia are now gone. The same thing happened last winter and it didn't get nearly as cold. I'm not convinced I'll ever get that thing to bloom!

Oddly enough, the phormiums that line 5th Ave NE by Northgate all look to be OK other than a few flattened by heavy snow....they were subject to all the snow kicked up by the plows and were buried under a couple of feet for about a week. Perhaps that provided some additional insulation.

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope 2009 brings us all into a better place and may your garden grow!!


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Ian, yes that is a variegated Pittosporum eugenioides. As you can see part of it looks alright. If it isn't totally busted by the weight of the snow it should be OK. It had been damaged last year by cold and snow as well. I have other Pittosporums that are still covered by a lot of snow that I hope are OK. One 'nana' was looking really nice last summer I will try to carefully uncover today. When trying to dig plants out I found that I was sometimes doing more damage by accidentally hitting them with the shovel, ouch!! I uncovered my Pseudopanax Sabre and propped it up again. It seems to be alright. There was a small Coprosma and a variegated Azara under the same blanket and they are alright too. I have some of your plants still buried under snow. I can't remember which ones right now but will let you know when I find them!


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I think my hebes are going to need a shearing this spring to get the damaged bits off but I don't think any are dead. I have six different cultivars including 'Autumn Glory'.

I lost a panel in my greenhouse and am still not sure if any of the plants inside are damaged. There was a foot of snow inside right on my mandevillea.

Everything else looks lousy but I don't see death, yet.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I haven't tried to assess damage yet, altho I was a bit relieved to get snow instead of just unrelenting freezing temps. The snow offers some insulation and I hope it came in time to do just that, before some plants were killed by the temps in the teens and 20's. I fully expect the garden will have a different appearance this next season. But if I have empty spaces, I'll just plant other things I need room for. Ya take it in stride and move on!


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Mary, I'm impressed with what does as well as it does in your garden.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

  • Posted by thane z8 Bellevue, WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 4, 09 at 20:29

I just went to the Rhododendron Species Foundation Garden in Federal Way. (Free admission until February 28!)

Several of the big-leaf rhodies showed a lot of damage to their leaves, as one would expect. The worst were R. macabeanum, R. rex ssp. rex, and a few others. Sinogrande was looking in peak shape, dark green and glossy as ever. R. rex ssp. fictolacteum and some others were also good.

The macabeanum made me sad, since I planted one this summer. Mine didn't get as much damage as theirs, but their specimens were a bit unimpressive in general.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 5, 09 at 14:29

Even after this amount of time (and growth) the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden site is a bit drafty. Even in the wild big-leaved rhododendrons might be found growing in ravines or similar situations in some habitats (as well as in the open elsewhere). Like many magnolias these are forest plants built as though coming from locations where they get hardly any wind at all.

In the case of the rhododendrons the oversize leaves are an adaptation to high moisture levels and low light levels, monsoonal storms being so dark and drenching in their mountain habitats they have to give off excess water through a plus-size leaf surface. The same large leaf area is good for getting extra light.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Well this last snowfall badly damaged some of my shrubs and trees. This snow was the more normal coastal, heavy, wet stuff and when I went out last night to brush the snow off the Japanese Maples and rhodies there was already some broken branches. Today, I notice a pink plum tree that I had been trying to reshape after bad pruning has pruned itself into almost a stump. Oh well, it's coming out and I'm going to try one of the flowering trees that have been recommended on this site. It's time for a change!


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I haven't made a full assessment as everything is still buried but a magnolia grandiflora about 4 yrs old is just trashed! Main stem broken plus several branches. I don't know if it can survive.


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  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 5, 09 at 23:06

Replace with a compact cultivar like 'St. Mary' or 'Victoria' (but not 'Little Gem').


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

My Hebe 'Eddington' has completely defoliated so I may be wrong about none of them dying. I forgot to check 'Autumn Glory'

'Red Edge', 'Tricolor' and two I can't remember are fine.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 9, 09 at 14:02

Roots are much less hardy than tops. Tops may look good for some time when roots are frozen. I have noticed that camellias for instance may not defoliate and reveal their true condition until spring flowering time. But tender hebes may mostly tend to look fried right away.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I have a Grevillea marinifolia 'Scarlet Sprite' with black tips. I think it is still alive but not looking too good. Also a Beschorneria of some sort may be questionable. I just found an Opuntia 'Peachy' that I planted late last summer and it looks like it has exploded. I didn't put an umbrella over it like my other one. All of my Pittosporums have a lot of black leaves and my taller Crinodenrons also have a lot of dark leaves. I have experienced this on the Crinos before and they should recover OK. Last year they bloomed like crazy and were so wonderful! Sigh.... My big Schefflera delavayi had a big crack on a lower side shoot/branch? so I just cut off the offending weight. I sure hope it will be all right. The snow may have protected many plants but it sure did a lot of damage to the above the ground portions! This has been and will continue to be a real learning experience! I normally get depressed about the garden in February but it's started a lot earlier this year. OK, I am done wining, for now.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I planted a small Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' last fall. There is a big specimen a few blocks down the street that blew me away with its near constant blooming so I had to try it. My new baby and the old specimen in the neighborhood both look very questionable. Mine turned light yellow-brown while the big one is turning blackish. Any others have experience with Ray?


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Whoops, that should have been i'm done whining, wining is what I'm going to do pretty soon!!! :-D


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Today I dawned my gloves and brushed the snow away from my rhodies, they were somewhat flattened and a few had a couple of broken branches. However, I think they survived. They were completely buried in all that snow. I think my JM burgundy lace survived too. I mulched all my plants well. The lilac tree looks good and so does my hydrangeas.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Well, I have had my vegetable garden under hoop covers since Fall, and I was holding out hope for them. The snow didn't bother them as my hoop covers held, but the 14 degree temperatures for about a week did a number on my cole crops. Everything looks dead.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that all my root crops appear to have been eatten by raccoons. Silly me, I forgot to deter them come fall. Grrr. My 4 year old and I were looking forward to candy carrots.

I'm still holding out hope for the spinach and lettuce to come back, but not much else is salvagable.

If you'd like to see pics, here's my blog post on the topic...

Here is a link that might be useful: January 6, 2009


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Not only has nothing in the garden died, but the roses still have green healthy leaves on them.

The lettuce is all dead, but it's just an annual so that doesn't count. The parsley is way smaller than it was before all this, but still alive.

My garden went down to 9 degrees two nights before it started snowing, so no snow insulation at that time. Then I got a foot of snow, with another night below 10 degrees, but this time everything was buried under a blanket of snow.

I shelter the bonsai, and I mulch the roses, but that's it for winter protection in my garden. I don't even knock snow off usually, as it insulates the plants. I did have to knock icy snow off the bonsai'd Pieris to prevent breakage, and off a Hinoki 'Gracilis' to get it upright again. That was all I did. Oh, I have a pot of pansies and a sword fern on the front deck, and I put those in the garage at night when it's in the 20s or lower.

I don't waste my time and energy planting stuff that I know is going to need extra protection in winter. Aside from the deep accumulation of snow, this is not all that cold or unusual. And, I'm hearing that even the accumulation of a foot of snow was not unusual for Olympia of 40 years ago.

The kalmia looks fine. They come from cold winter areas of the East coast anyway so that's not unexpected. Rh. fortuniana looks fine. The camellias look fine. The phormiums were a bit squashed when they came out from under the snow, but they're fine. The perennials are all fine. The roses are fine. The berries and apples are fine. The heathers are fine. Most everything looks fine. Of course the real test will be the first warm days in spring, when we'll find out if they really are all fine.

I have seen a lot of damage to pines, even the native shore pine. Are others noticing this too? Broken branches and tops from snow load. Other than broken tree branches on pines and cherries, most everyone else's gardens look fine too. Some squashing and burnt foliage, but that's it.

It's normal for rhodies to look droopy-leaved in cold weather. People back East estimate the temp in winter by the angle of drooping on the wild rhodie leaves.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I've noticed shore pines to be susceptible to snow damage pretty much anytime we get a heavy snow. In 1996 the ice storm completely destroyed our nice P. densiflora and damaged P. nigra.

I have pictures of my parents' house on Cooper Point under nearly 2' of snow in February 1990. I'd say that the snow we just had is the most we've had since then.

This time around the lowest temperature at this (formerly my) garden was 22F. Other than a few plants being broken by snow I didn't see much freeze damage. Passiflora caerulea still has all its leaves and the tree fern looks fine.

Here in Sequim on the other hand, it was much colder (13F) and many potted plants that I didn't have a chance to bring in or protect were damaged or killed. But I saved the most important stuff, and many plants will come back in the spring.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

  • Posted by estreya Southwest Washington (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 10, 09 at 15:42

I know this is a terribly remedial question, but is it best to make a neat cut on broken branches now, or wait till Spring to "repair" the ravages of winter?


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

It is best to repair storm damage as soon as possible. Ripped or shredded bark and exposed, torn limbs can be an invitation to insects or pathogens that winter over and become active as soon as the weather moderates. Make clean cuts at appropriate places. Otherwise, leave winter damage like dieback or winter burnt foliage on broadleaved evergreens, etc. in place until you see new growth emerging in spring - it can actually offer some degree of additional protection against further cold weather.

btw, my coprosma is now confirmed officially as toast :-( Just a touch at the formerly pink, red and gold/now brown and grey foliage and 75% promptly fell off. Heavy sigh..........


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I think we lucked out. It looks as if a couple of my cape fuchsia's may have died, but they weren't really doing that great. I'm surprised at how well even some of my more tender plants did under almost 2 feet of snow. I'm just worried about what's left to come!


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Thank you, gardengal48. I've been avoiding a yard walk because it's so unpleasant to slosh around on the supersaturated terra-not-so-firma. But i think we're going to have a few dry days next week, so i'll try to get out and do some clean up.

Happy gardens, all!


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

In the snow before Christmas, my 7-foot, 7-year-old ceanothus 'Dark Star' uprooted itself and I'm having it removed... I like this shrub but this will make more sun for my next project.

Hebe anomola 'Purpurea' has bit the dust, I think, in the recent snowless hard freezes. Lots of other hebes still seem fine.

On the bright side, my earlies daffodils are opening their flowers this week.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

My earliest daffodils (February Gold, Tete a Tete) barely have foliage up.

Hebe 'Eddington' which was my favorite seems to be the only dead hebe though maybe it will come up from the roots. The top growth is dead dead dead. Hebe 'Autumn Glory' shows some foliage damage on the tips but is mostly green. I lost some a decade ago but they were in a more open location than the two I have now.

Clematis cartmanni 'Avalanche' has blackened foliage.

I was shocked to see green when I chopped down the red fountain grasses in pots along the garage. I had stuck them in the greenhouse last year but decided to let them die this year. I chopped them down to better see the pansies at their bases.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

I was surprised to read that some ceanothus keeled. My two are both looking good, but this is their second and third year in the ground.

I have a half-dozen NZ flax that all look terrible, and I'm kicking myself for not throwing mulch around them, as two of them had the same problem last year. They DID recover, but only after looking terrible for half the summer. If they weren't so expensive, I'd have just replaced them.

Ditto the nandinas (heavenly bamboo). They've lost most of their leaves, and I'll just see what happens this spring.....

Finally, yes, the rosemary's not looking good. Thankfully, that one's a cheap one to replace.

Cheryl


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 14, 09 at 23:56

Snow insulates plants from cold air. Much damage occurs when there is no snow. For example, the Cotoneaster lacteus shrubs across the street here (north of Seattle) did not turn black during the 1990 winter until the snow melted one day and fell off of their leaves and branches.

Failures of ceanothus should not be a surprise, many of these are tender. And since they are fast-growing, many (most?) specimens planted are rootbound, resulting in falling over once the top gets big and heavy enough to overcome the deformed, circling roots that do not grip the ground adequately.

According to Fross/Wilken, CEANOTHUS (Timber Press) 'Dark Star' is hardy to only 15 degrees F.

---

There is so much damage to the plantings in the Camano Island garden I'm inclined to suspect it got down to near 10 degrees F. there - or below.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

Well, it seems like everyday reveals more sadness. In spite of the snows insulating qualities, I am afraid my Corokia Sunsplashs may not make it...They may re sprout from the bottom but it will be a long time before they look good again! The Restio Elegis capensis all turned black but I do see new shoot coming. Looks like every winter hardy Eucalyptus I have will at least defoliate if not die back. A big surprise so far is Pseudopanax 'Saber' but I did cover it during the long cold spell. A Coprosma Roy's Red (I think) that was also undercover with it has now defoliated. It may also re-grow as it has in past years. Coprosma Beatsons Gold still looks OK located in a different part of the garden where a red Cordyline a Beschorneria and a small cool Callistamen croaked. I can't figure anything out this winter. There seemed to be no reason for some things to have survived so well and others to be so damaged! Probably just to cold too long.... Of course many thing I expected to die did. If the economy wasn't so bad I would be really excited about buying a lot more plants.... unfortunately I will probably be a bit more cautious this year. Oh yeah, I dug up a up-rooted Ceanothus and replanted it. It's not lookin very good either. I will have to cut back all of my Anemethale lessonianas (or what ever they are called this year) Most of my Euphorbias look like @#$%. There are more that have died just too many to list. Well, that's gardening on the edge!!! Sigh..... I sure wish the Garden Web had a botanical Latin spell check LOL


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

That period of warmth and sunshine followed by a bunch more mornings at 28 degrees turned a lot of my evergreens brown. All around town the thuja varieties are the brownest-muddy-gold I've ever seen. My eucs' leaves have all turned straw colored except the spinning wheel which is fine. The big scoparia has enormous cracks in its trunk and its ghost white trunk is turning charcoal grey. I've fertilized, reseeded, redirted and flagstoned my entire yard in a desperate attempt to get rid of mud ruts in the long run. All my "zonal denial" plants have croaked.

How long to see if they come up from the roots? June, July?

Researching replacements that can take excessive heat, cold, snow, ice, flooding, swamping, draught, fire, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, windstorms, volcanoes and exploding satellites. Sick of having expensive nurtured trees and plants die.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 15, 09 at 14:32

Most of those plants mentioned being tried in Snohomish are just plain tender, and that is why they have already been damaged or lost after a comparatively short time.

The Willamette Valley site is in the middle of an area where millions of dollars of horticultural crops are produced in open fields every year. It is not a harsh climate. Problems with plantings are due to approaches being taken, including what kinds of plants are being chosen.

Individual eucalypts vary rather widely in hardiness, even among siblings. Getting a seedling that is hardy below 10-15F is critical to having one persist for the long term here - the long term being relative even in this instance, where there were comparatively few substantial specimens left intact after the 1990 winter.

The most hardy high-altitude species of gums must be planted, and even then it may be necessary to try more than once in order to end up with one that lasts. And if I site is too low and damp, perhaps none will persist.

Fast-growing kinds also have the disadvantage of bending over under ice and snow. Another reason to choose the slow-growing high altitude snow gum types. And plant them in full all day sun with good drainage, so they make firm growth and don't lean away from shading.


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RE: Did any of your plants die in the storm?

This freeze has separated the hardy from the tender of the Southern Hemisphere stuff as well. I'm looking mostly at my container stock that didn't make it into the greenhouse, whose damage to their upper parts is still instructive regardless of the state of the root system. My best Callistemon by far is C. viridiflorus (that's the real C. viridiflorus, not the Youngblood Nursery mislabeled one showing up in Seattle area retail nurseries lately).... easily hardier than others including 'Woodlanders Hardy'. Corokias are all pretty much tender.... none really did that great but C. cotoneaster was the best. Cassinia x Ozothamnus is impressively hardy, as is Brachyglottis monroi, Olearia x haastii and O. paniculata. Pittosporum colensoi is my best NZ Pittosporum. Araucaria angustifolia (100+ of them) has burned leaf tips but growing points are still fine. Astelia... forget it, dead. Eucalyptus are mostly dead but I'm really impressed with a couple forms of E. rubida and E. camphora which I'm surprised to see unharmed. I'll do a full report later but I want to wait just a little bit longer so that my information will be as accurate as possible. The lowest temperature here was 13F, which was reached in both the morning and the evening of the coldest day.

I'm planning a better organized eucalyptus test garden to trial some of the best provenances of the hardiest species. With good documentation this time and a more limited, deliberate selection of plants, I hope it will prove to be an instructive test. I'll probably skip E. scoparia; I just don't think it is that hardy although it continues to persist in Olympia. I hope I can get this project underway this year.


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