[nafex] Each year you learn something new . . .

victoria l. caron vicaron at gis.net
Mon May 7 07:00:51 EDT 2001

I agree with what Michael said. This year's type of damage was a first
for me. I also have a whole row of last year's work in the nursery
completely broken off. What puzzles me is why that one particular row?
The other rows suffered from broken branches which I attributed to the
crust becoming weighted down with those last few heavy wet snowfalls of
12 or more inches. I can't figure out what broke off the last row of
whips?!? The tops of the bottom halves of many in this row looked as if
they had blown out, just plain blasted from the inside out. Has anyone
ever seen that kind of damage?
By the way, the limb damage was the same in other small orchards that I
pruned in the central and lower part of the state. Some of the damage
had to be pruned off of course. Other limbs that were still at least 50%
attached, I taped up as I would a new graft except that I tied a support
between the limb and the trunk to keep the joint firmly in place until
it callouses. I only did this if the angle was a strong one to begin
with. I should probably mention that the limbs that broke off at the
trunk are very young and simply not strong enough to bear the weight of
the heavy snow above the hard icy crust. I expect the repairs will heal
well and the added callous at the joint will make a strong crotch.
The worst part of the damage is where the limbs tore off the existing
collar where the limb meets the trunk. When we prune, we leave this so
the wound heals over quickly. Now I am afraid that healing, if it takes
place, will be slow, and the trunk will be weak and vulnerable for some
vic NH zone 3

Michael Phillips wrote:

>  We are coming into tight cluster here in northern New Hampshire just
> now . . . spring has become intense with finishing the pruning,
> planting new trees, and spreading compost.  Most incredibly, we
> finally got up an 8-wire deer fence around the hillside orchard and
> will soon complete a fence for the new block as well. Nothing like a
> state fencing grant deadline from Fish'N'Game (to keep out their
> cloven devils!) to get that job done.Anyhow, before the memories of
> this past winter's deep snows fade, I have some questions to pose to
> all you southerners (which is something I can say about almost all of
> you except Victoria Caron and our Canadian members). I lost most of
> the lower branches on my three-year-old M.9 trees, simply ripped off
> the trunk anywhere from three feet down by the icy pull of crusting
> snow. I had thought I'd do more damage going out and trying to free
> the buried branches. I was wrong. Does anyone else in snow country
> have suggestions for future deep winters? My youngest standards also
> lost some branches but there's room on those to grow ever higher. I'm
> assuming the gaping tears will heal over and the trunk can recover
> structurally. The M.9 trees have a 6' rail stake for support. Any
> suggestions for a bark healing salve?The bigger shocker occurred in
> the nursery. I had whip-grafted 50 MM.111 and 50 M.26 rootstock last
> spring. My daughter's baby goats nipped them in midsummer, but each
> recovered enough to have a 2 to 3 foot whip going into winter. The
> crushing snow took every one. And most broke just above the healed
> splice of the graft . . . but generally close enough for me to think
> any scion buds are gone. Here's a case where the latent buds of the
> rootstock were stripped off regularly last summer. I don't know if
> I'll be having a chance to bud on to new growth or not this summer. I
> didn't think the snow would wipe away single vertical shoots.
> Ironically, this was the first year we had no vole damage
> whatsoever.The best lesson I can figure (seemingly as always) is to
> move to a more hospitable climate!Michael Phillips
> Lost Nation Orchard
> Heartsong Farm Healing Herbs
> RFD 1  Box 275
> Groveton, NH 03582
> 603-636-2286
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