[NAFEX] Peach anti-freeze

Heron Breen breen at fedcoseeds.com
Wed Dec 14 19:43:09 EST 2005

Hi Sports Fans,
I had the great privilege of talking with Garfield Schultz by phone the other day. 
He is one of the old guard (80+ years old) of NAFEX, wise in experience and quick 
to the point. Very sly businessman too! He knows he has some good stuff he's bred 
and he doesn't send most people scionwood (me included, although he promised a few 
odds and ends someday). Apparently he has a cherry-plum that you would sell your 
first-born for.
He has bred a number of cultivars of various species, many of them of very high 
quality and at least one has been trademarked by Stark's nursery and sold by the 
thousands. You've probably read his entries in Pomona. 
He passed on a trick, which maybe some of you know, but which was new to me. He 
stated that one could spray rubbing alcohol followed by a spray of food grade 
calcium chloride on a at least 35 degree F late Fall day. Spraying this regimen 
onto your trees would enhance their winter hardiness exponentially. He felt this 
had particular usefulness for Peaches.
This regimen could also be sprayed again in Spring, two weeks before estimated 
flowering date. This would make blooms very resistant to frost damage. 
Garfield felt this was an ideal technique for us 3-4-5 zone folks to try.
I haven't tried it this, and don't know much about it. I haven't had time to 
research exactly how this works, but I know calcium plays lots of roles with cell 
and tree stress response and water maintenance.
If you know more, or have tried this, enlighten us, please. If you end up giving 
this a shot at some point, let us know your results. I trust Garfield's wisdom, but 
he wasn't specific about application rates per tree or those kinda of things, so 
your tree might get damaged by my detail vacant post.
Thought I would pass it on before I forgot to.
Heron Breen
zone 4, Maine 

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