[permaculture] Frozen trees
efmonaco at comcast.net
Wed Apr 25 17:11:41 EDT 2007
Below is a post from the University of Tennessee...for what it's worth.
We got hammered here in East TN too. I fear I have lost my figs; still no
sign of life.
The maples did fine. The oaks look rough and the squirrels are already
worried. We have a Carolina Ashe that got freeze dried, but it is coming
back. The tulip poplars are coming back too but it's too early to know if
there will be much nectar. BTW, I've been looking into this top bar hive
thing and I'm not sold as yet. Maybe there is more than one way to skin a
A great new book to read on beekeeping is "Increase Essentials" by Lawrence
John Connor. I picked up a copy at Robin Mountain's Dadant store in
See http://forestry.tennessee.edu/freeze07.htm for information on the
"The late spring freeze severely damaged many native trees including
the oaks, tulip poplars, and hickories."
Plants have developed a strategy for survival over millions of years
of evolution, but every once in a while the forces of nature offers up
a new challenge. This year's mid-spring freeze has challenged many of
our plants and has tested their adaptability to an ever-changing set
of conditions. This event gives us a rare chance to be witness to the
interplay between plants and the forces of nature.
At the UT Arboretum we are documenting the effects of "the freeze" on
a variety of plant species. We have observed that many of our native
trees are severely effected (tulip poplar, oaks, hickories), while
others go relatively un-harmed (blackcherry, sugar maple, and
sweetgum). Similarly, many of our favorite landscape plants suffered a
range of effects - some hollies only had frozen new growth, while some
azalea foliage and flowers were completely destroyed. The science and
academic side of this event will be a feature of the UT Arboretum's
web site (http://forestry.tennessee.edu) as we track the consequences
of this unusual event.
For homeowners, this event is less academic and more a concern for
what can be done to help our favorite landscape plants.
Mark A. Halcomb, University of Tennessee Area Nursery Specialist with
the Warren County Extension in McMinnville, TN advises in his "Nursery
Notes" to "be patient and wait":
"The best advice is to wait; wait for the plants to respond. And do
Our plants were too far advanced for this time of year and were not in
a physiological state to tolerate the freezing temperatures we
received. The duration of the low temperatures over three nights
coupled with 20 to 25 mph winds delivered damage that we could not
provide adequate protection for. No one remembers this sort of thing.
As expected, it appears seedlings and first year buds have taken a
major hit. It is too early to determine if there will be twig dieback
or how much. Seed crops may be damaged on the trees, such as redbud,
tulip poplar, maple and dogwood.
Dieback will vary with the plant genus, elevation, stage of growth,
etc. Warmer temperatures will allow dieback to become more evident. A
caramel or light brown color under the bark will indicate cold injury
and the tissue will be weak or possibly die. If discolored, wait 2
more weeks and check again. It may get more obvious that the plants
will not recover.
There is no way of knowing yet how much terminal dieback there will be
on field or landscape plants. Wait until new growth begins again and
make the cuts into 100% live and healthy tissue. It is important the
cut be made below any brown-colored tissue in the stem. Do not
It may be July before the verdict will be in on some plants."
Copyright (c)2007 Forest Resources Research and Education Center
Oak Ridge, Tennessee . Telephone 865-483-3571 Voice/TDD
Return to University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station
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