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Effects of a late frost

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 08:43 am
I've been looking around online and haven't yet found an all-in-one answer to this, or even long-term answers for specific plants.

We had unseasonably warm weather here in Ohio and spring well and truly sprung. Daffodils, tulips, magnolias; Japanese maple leaves started, lilacs are budded and about to bloom. And on and on.

Then yesterday an extremely cold air mass descended. (Temp at 6 PM Tuesday: 79. Temp at 6 PM Wednesday: 39.) Overnight it hit freezing. Now it's 29 and snowing, and it doesn't look good out there.

Obviously, individual daffodil and tulip plants are done for, that's sad but not a tragedy. The main thing I want to know is whether a) this will damage trees and plants for this whole summer, and b) whether it will permanently damage anything (especially trees)?

I read to put a bedsheet over Japanese maples to help protect them -- several more experienced gardeners on my block have Japanese maples and they haven't done anything. Freezing temps are expected to last straight through until Saturday, though. Better safe than sorry, right? (I like my Japanese maple.)

Any other insight or tips?

Thanks.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 20,824 • Replies: 60
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 09:35 am
frost
http://www.avant-gardening.com/zone.htm

There are several of this that might help you. Just google frost free maps.

BBB
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 09:39 am
I checked your link, I don't see how it answers any of my questions though...?
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 10:10 am
Soz, tender annuals and fruit buds are zapped by late frosts, but most perennials, bushes, and plants will recover nicely as long as the temps don't drop below what is normal for your region during winter. In other words, if you live in an area where the coldest winter temps are in the 20s and you get spring temps below zero, then you might have some longterm effects.

Other than taking a hit with this year's flower (and therefore seed) production, your plants and trees should be fine.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 10:13 am
Keep in mind, the frost and freezing temps are only affecting what is going on above ground (budding, leafing, flowering). Unless you get prolonged sub-freezing temps (day/night), then the effects will be minimal beyond what I losing the most tender of the flower buds (such as with fruit trees).
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 10:23 am
Unless the buds for a number of flowering trees and fruit trees are swelled to a"not to exceed" level, a hard freeze wont have a great deal of effect. Itll delay the cherries, apples and peaches a bit but, with those, Im more concerned about the missing BEES.
Ive looked at my star magnolia and some flowering plants like creepers and I havent seen a bee this year. My star magnolia is being pollinated by little wild bee-like hornets .
We may be on the verge of a major problem if this Colony collapse syndrome isnt sorted out.

I found out today that tomatoes are more likely to be pollenated by bumble bees than by honeybees and that crops like fruits and berries are the most susceptible to colony collapse effects.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 10:25 am
JPB and farmerman, thanks! I've been worried about a brown and lifeless summer. That all sounds encouraging.

The bee part is freaky though. I've seen lots of bees, but can't tell from looking what kind they are. Some bumbles, those are obvious, then a bunch of... bees.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 10:54 am
Does it seem like it will be a hard ground frost? If not, most things will recover quite nicely - you might even get a second bloom out of some very early plants.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 10:59 am
I'm not sure. Here are the definitions from BBB's link:

    Definitions of Frosts/Freezes Frost 32+ degrees - a light Freeze, damage depends upon the duration of the frost, humidity, topography, etc. Light Freeze 29F to 32F - tender plants are killed with little effect on other vegetation. Moderate Freeze 25F to 28F - damage to most vegetation with heavier damage to fruit blossoms and tender plants. Severe Freeze 24F and colder, heavy damage to all but the hardiest of plants.


It's currently 31 ("feels like 20"). Low tonight will be 27. Low tomorrow will be 25. Lows remain below freezing until Monday, when the low is supposed to be 36. Highs are above freezing each day. (High today is supposed to be 38, not sure when we're supposed to get there though, this is usually the warmest part of the day.)
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Apr, 2007 12:52 pm
certain of the Alium family (daffddils, crucii, tulips) can poke out even if the ground is frozen. They create a cellular antifreeze by keeping certain sugars in solution until it warms up. You may get some brown tips if its in the teens but , it cant get that cold anymore, can it?
0 Replies
 
plantress
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Apr, 2007 03:02 pm
hello soze.

My japanese maple in Maryland has not yet leafed out. The buds are tight so this cold front should prob not hurt it. My lilac however, has unfurled it leaves which leads me to believe that it is "setting its buds" If so we will likely not have any blooms this year-if they freeze they won't recover. The plant will be fine.

Usually I just have problems with tulips and daffodils when we have a late snow. I just cut all the flowers and bring em in.

Also, if you haven't truly uncovered your beds yet the plants underneath will be fine!

More than you wanted to know. I am like that Very Happy
0 Replies
 
atoms
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 06:37 am
AAUGHHHHH!!!!! My maples have been injured! Sad
I too have japanese/ornamental maples all over the yard...

3 in particular already had leaves out and this cold spell has them all wilted and not looking good. Some of the new twig growth is also wilted.

Will these be bare this year? Will they drop the leaves and try again? Will the leaves recover? They are still mostly green.

The other maples have the leaves just coming out of the buds and they are a bit wilted but I think it's too early to tell with those ones.



Crying or Very sad
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 06:56 am
Hi there atoms,

Depressing, isn't it? :-(

Mine was leafed out too -- little leaves. Those leaves are looking dried-up and pitiful, can't imagine they'll survive. Hoping that maybe they'll drop and a new batch will come out, dunno.

I've been asking everyone who might know something about this (IRL as well as here) and the general consensus so far seems to be that this year may well be shot but that the tree will survive and next year should be fine.

<sigh>

We have hopefully emerged from the freezing spell so should know one way or another before long. Fingers crossed!

Thanks, plantress, that was useful. Pretty much everything in my yard was at least at the set-bud stage.
0 Replies
 
atoms
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 11:33 am
thanks for the input

i am afraid that at least the three mentioned are in bad shape

upon further inspection, there's no way the leaves will be springing back to life. They are all completely limp.

Hopefully the other maples that did not have leaves out yet will be ok.

ya wanna know the funny part? my tulips and just fine... Neutral
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 11:35 am
My tulips seem to be bouncing back, too. Definitely weird.

Yeah, these leaves are done for. I'm somewhat hopeful that they'll just drop and new ones might emerge... but I dunno.

A weird and spooky spring/ fall mix out there, in general. Tulips under trees with brown, dead leaves... eek.
0 Replies
 
Lucy Loon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 11:53 am
Hard freeze where we live
Yes, Very Depressing Sozobe. My newly planted (last fall) Japanese maples were 85% leafed out. We just had a very hard freeze (19 degrees) and even covering them couldn't save the new leaves.

I'm hopeful they will try to leaf out again. One, however (18" graft) doesn't look like it will make it at all.

Anyone know?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 12:33 pm
Several years ago during an Attack of the Gypsy moths, we lost every single tender green oak leaf on our oak-wooded lot.

Three weeks later, replacement leaves sprouted. The growth ring for that year was teeny-tiny, but the trees survived.
0 Replies
 
atoms
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 02:57 pm
Noddy24 wrote:
Several years ago during an Attack of the Gypsy moths, we lost every single tender green oak leaf on our oak-wooded lot.

Three weeks later, replacement leaves sprouted. The growth ring for that year was teeny-tiny, but the trees survived.


well you give me some hope

*fingers crossed*

these are mature trees, and were in great shape last year!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 03:01 pm
I've been going to post that I'd be surprised if new leaves don't pop out, but, not having lived with it being colder than 28 before, before I'm not absolutely positive about that.
0 Replies
 
atoms
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2007 03:21 pm
ossobuco wrote:
I've been going to post that I'd be surprised if new leaves don't pop out, but, not having lived with it being colder than 28 before, before I'm not absolutely positive about that.


More hope!

Let's keep the positive attitudes going!

THE LEAVES WILL RETURN!!! Smile
0 Replies
 
 

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