[NAFEX] Freeze damage follow-up

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Tue Apr 24 09:29:38 EDT 2007

> Here in east Kansas it looked like the freeze a couple weeks ago nulled any chance for fruit.  Now it looks like we could have some pears.  Someone on the list mentioned plants can re-bloom.  It looks like that's what happened to the pears.

I'm glad to hear it. My Northstar cherry had just started to bloom when 
the freeze hit, and it's blooming again, too (though not very many 
blossoms this time).

> Blackberries are re-foliating and sending up new canes.  Strawberries coming back.  Our strawberries were hit much worse than others in the area.

I don't have blackberries, but many of my black raspberry canes died. 
Others, especially those closest to my garage, are sprouting new leaves, 
and all of the roots are starting to send up new canes. My strawberries 
are looking fine, but I'd covered them with straw.

Oddly enough, though, straw didn't help protect some things (currants 
and one gooseberry), and might even have hurt. Most of these appeared to 
come through the freeze just fine, but afterwards, the leaves and young 
shoots started dying. This happened with my irises, too (which I hadn't 
covered, since they aren't edible). They looked good right after the 
freeze, but the leaves all slowly died in the week or so after that.

> Someone mentioned they had serious twig dieback of persimmon because of the frost.  Perhaps that's what's going on with the persimmon and paw paw, as there is no new growth coming back.  The trees may be dead.  They were pretty small.
> Apricot foliage was damaged worse on the Hargrand (100% damage), but it's putting out new foliage as are the japanese plums.

All of my fruit trees had 100%, or nearly so, foliage damage (they're 
all pretty young), but my Japanese plums have come out of it the best 
here, too. Of course, they hadn't sprouted out as much as the others, 
either. My Asian pears still look the worst, but one of them is 
sprouting out again.

You mentioned twig dieback. One problem I've noticed is that almost all 
of the end buds (next to my pruning cuts) seem to be dead. At least, 
there are very few trees where these have started sprouting new leaves, 
even when the rest of the branch is greening up again. One branch on a 
young peach tree even split lengthwise at the tip. Maybe the sap froze 
and split it?

Should I re-prune these trees now, to cut off the dead stub? Or wait and 
prune it off later, if it really is dead, either later this season or 
with my normal dormant pruning next year? I'm still learning how to 
prune. Though I've read a lot about it, I need experience. But if the 
end buds on my pruned branches are dead, the next one is going to be on 
the opposite side of the branch - exactly the opposite of where I'd 
planned. So perhaps I should prune back even further, to a better 
choice? Although, considering how bad my trees look, I suppose I 
shouldn't stress them any further right now.

Advice, anyone?

Lincoln, NE (zone 5a)

The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own 
good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of 
theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. - John Stuart Mill

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