[NAFEX] Hardiness Terms?

tanis cuff tanistanis at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 11 12:13:50 EST 2004

One kind of hardines is how well a plant tolerates thaws.   Some things are 
too ready to break dormancy in the shortest of warm spells, and that hurts 
them when the temperature drops again.  But if you can keep them cold, 
they're good to -40.


----Original Message Follows----
From: "Dean Kreutzer" <deankreutzer at hotmail.com>
Reply-To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Hardiness Terms?
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 10:54:27 -0600

I tend to shy away from saying a certain plant is hardy to a certain 
temperature because hardiness is so much more complex than temperature 
itself.  Factors such as how heavy the crop was, did the plant harden off 
well in the fall, how heavy was the disease pressure, was there a drought, 
is there a microclimate etc. all can affect how well a plant survives the 
winter.  Just because a plant has had winter damage in -30F winters, doesn't 
mean it can't survive -40F without damage.  Nor just because a plant has 
survived -40F without damage, doesn't guarantee that it won't be damaged in 
-30F winters.  This is why it typically takes many years of testing before 
plants are released to the public, because fruit breeders cannot make claims 
based on the results of 1 winter season.

I like to say "This plant has survived -40F without damage" rather than 
"This plant is hardy to -40F".

I assume that a catalog that is distributed nationally wouldn't have "local" 
terms of hardiness because that type of information would be irrelevant to 
the majority of customers.  I believe that using hardiness zones is 
inprecise, yet the best method as a guide for hardiness we have.  Like most 
things, you must take it with a grain of salt.

USDA zone 3

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