[NAFEX] winter kill
interverbis at videotron.ca
Mon Jan 15 19:52:09 EST 2007
Snow sparkles on a bright sunny day is indeed something to behold.
Down in Western Québec, it is a common occurence, although we have had our
share of winter rain this year.
Today, it is back to seasonal average temperatures with -10° C at sunset.
Your question is difficult to put in a nutshell but I would personnally
worry about those plum trees in a pot, or any trees in a pot that is exposed
to -10° C without a mulching and a tarp, especially when this cold spell
last more than a day. Here in agriculture zone 4, it would not be possible
to leave plants of any kind in a pot outside over the winter.
The plumbing pipes and city water pipes are installed at three feet minimum
below ground level, and it has happened in the past that there has been
frozen and broken water pipe during a long lasting cold spell of -20° C day
and night and little snow coverage. Frozen pipes are a winter nightmare.
However, the temperature of the ground is far more stable than the air.
The longer the cold spell lasts, the deeper the frost settles, to a limit,
except when there is good snow coverage. Under a foot of snow, the frost
gets established and does not change much over the winter regardless of the
For planted trees, I don't think the frost in the ground matters too much. I
notice mostly wood and buds damage when the thermometer plunges too low. In
that case, I thing the duration is also a factor. Extreme and quick
fluctuations are not a good idea either.
Good luck with your plants. Let us know more.
(Thank you again for that lovely guided visit at Van Dusen's Gardens)
----- Original Message -----
From: "derry and bill" <wchase at interchange.ubc.ca>
To: "nafex" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 4:05 PM
Subject: [NAFEX] winter kill
Is there anyone in the East, or even eastern WA, or Bernie Nikolai in
Edmonton, who can tell me how cold they think it gets in the soil when
the above ground temps are -30°C or -40°C (colder than -20°F). My
conversion ruler doesn't go below -20°F!
I have (above ground)pots of M9 and M26 apple whips and the above ground
temperature has reached -12°C (+10°F). They are out of the wind in my
carport. There is no snow cover in my carport.
Should I be concerned?
I also have St Julian A plum whips and Mazzard cherry whips outside with
snow cover and the overnight low temperature has reached -12°C. Any ideas?
There is nothing much I can do now and the weather is reported to be
warming, but I'm interested to hear what growers who have more
experience with cold temps have to say
south coastal B.C.
I must add that it is marvellous to have the sun reflecting off the snow
instead of our usual grey rainy days in January. In 2006 we got 11
inches of rain in January. Yuk!
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