[NAFEX] Hardier sub-tropicals in zone 6: hardier when mature?

Steven Covacci filtertitle at aol.com
Sat Dec 3 11:22:46 EST 2011


This thread concerns growing the following sub-tropicals in zone 6

pomegranate (cv. 'Kazake'), the most cold-hardy variety that I know of
black mulberry - Morus nigra (cv. 'Black Beauty')
figs: F. carica & F. afghanistanica  
Asian persimmon 

If you prune the trees for the first years so that the frame is of a larger diameter, and protect the trees during the first years, will the above trees survive the occasional -7 F or worse day should it come once out of many years?

I suspect that the rootsytem, base of the trunk, and beginning of the primary limbs would survive, and you'd quickly have your trees back to their previous form and size.

So, in-other-words, black mulberry (M. nigra) might be hardy to -0F in nursery terms, but if you carefully attend to its winter protection for the first 5 or so years, it can go from a zone 7 plant to a zone 6 plant being only subject to damage to wood under a certain caliper diameter, which is not like loosing the tree and may even help keep the tree small.

There is an American persimmon by the beach that I know of that is pruned, eternally, to a large rounded bush form and size 9' x 9' and will probably stay that way until it dies thank's to the salt spray.  I think it would be great to have a Morus nigra with a large diameter trunk and limbs pruned by winter to 15' by annual die back.

Btw, the cultivar 'Black Beauty' ... I looked up the details in plant patent - supposedly a dwarf - yet how do they know?  If hasn't been around long enough and the seed parent's age and conditions of cultivation are likely unknown to the collection, I'd suspect.

Steve; NJ

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