[NAFEX] new hardiness zone map; mistake
eroland at gmail.com
Mon Feb 5 12:32:07 EST 2007
Actually, the Arbor Day Foundation released an updated hardiness zone
map in 2004, and then again more recently in 2006 - I learned about
both from HortIdeas (which is an excellent publication that y;all
should look into - $15 for a year!
I agree with someone's earlier comment that your specific microclimate
is important in understanding the 'hardiness' of any plant -- But
these new hardiness zone maps are an incredible snapshot of the
changing climate we live in. I use these maps whenever I teach --
especially the 'Zone Changes' map is an amazing visual representation
of what is happening.
HOWEVER, I would like to draw everyone's attention to what I believe
is a mistake in the NADF maps. I'll include below a longer email I
sent to NADF, but basically, on the 'Zone Changes' map they have
colored southeastern MA + cape cod as a '+2' area. On more careful
inspection (and looking at some older USDA maps), I think there was a
mistake in coloring on the 1990 map which led to an error in the
overall changes map.
Take a look at the email below... I was able to talk to some folks at
NADF, but no changes have been made yet. If you agree that this could
be a mistake, I encourage you to get in touch with the NADF and ask
them to make some adjustments changes -- I would like this valuable
resource to be as credible as possible!
National Arbor Day Foundation -
>I am an ecological design consultant deeply involved with agroforestry
>and other systems of permanent agriculture. I would like to thank you
>immensely for your work in creating and making available the new
>hardiness zone maps - they continue to be a valuable tool for my work
>and especially my teaching.
>However, I would like to ask a question about a rather strange anomaly
>on the 'Zone Change' maps for both 2004 and 2006. The area of
>southeastern Massachusetts (including cape cod) is represented as
>experiencing a wopping +2 change in hardiness zone -- one of the largest
>on the map and the only coastal +2.
>Given that the 2006 map lists this area as a Zone 7 implies that in 1990
>it was a Zone 5, and this is what the 1990 map shows at first glance.
>However, if you look more carefully at that 1990 map, it seems that
>southeastern Mass does not match the surrounding zone-hardiness pattern:
>It looks like it should be a yellow Zone 7, like Long Island and a
>sliver of Connecticut. In fact, even though it looks like 'Zone 5', the
>shade of green is slightly different from the rest of the Zone 5
>colorations. Perhaps this 1990 map was miscolored early on, and has not
>been corrected? Or was southeastern Mass really Zone 5 in 1990?
>The 1990 USDA version (as I'm looking it in Dave Jacke + Eric
>Toensmeier's Edible Forest Gardens Volume 1), shows the area as Zone 6a,
>6b, and 7a... and an earlier May 1960 USDA map I have shows it as Zone
>6b and 7a. What's going on?
>I would greatly appreciate your response to this query -- the updated
>hardiness maps are very important for the public to see, especially your
>excellent Zone changes map and the climate trends it reflects. Hence, it
>is very important that these maps are correct and error-free -- I
>haven't looked exhaustively, but I hope this is the only spot on the map
>where such an anomaly has occured. Please let me know if I've made a
>mistake, or if you are in need of another update!
>Thanks again and I look forward to your reply..
Ethan C. Roland
Design - Teach - Advise
Northeastern Permaculture Wiki
8th International Permaculture Conference, Brazil, 2007
" You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you can't count
the number of apples in a seed" - proverb via Paul Krafel
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