[nafex] Early pruning

V. Michael Bove, Jr. vmb at teakettlefarm.com
Tue Mar 27 10:01:22 EDT 2012


21F this morning when I got up.  Myrobalans, black apricots, peaches,  
Nanking cherries blooming like mad, but I'm not expecting a lot of  
fruit from them...  (trifoliate orange blooming, too, but it won't be  
a bad thing if I don't get a lot of fruit from that -- there are only  
so many whisky sours one can drink).
Michael Bove
Teakettle Farm, Z6 (MA/RI border)

On Mar 27, 2012, at 9:51 AM, Maria Schumann wrote:

> We had 14 deg. F this morning.  I covered my kiwis with old sheep
> fleeces which were heavy enough that they didn't blow away.  We're
> hoping that the apples were in early enough bud development stage that
> they won't be totally hit.  We'll see!
>
> Maria
> Greensboro, VT
>
> On Mar 27, 2012, at 8:25 AM, Caren Kirk wrote:
>
>> Hey Steve,
>>
>> This morning had to bundle the kids up in full snow suits that they
>> haven't worn for about 3 weeks. Even they were happy to put them on!
>>
>> Feel like a doofus for pushing some of the mulch away from  some of  
>> my
>> plants last week. Probably sentenced them to a death if not severe
>> damage.
>>
>> At least the wind has died down here. With the sunshine it actually
>> looks quite beautiful out. Shame it's -10 deg C!
>>
>> Steve, as you said, we'll just  have to see what survives and
>> whether we
>> get any fruit at all!
>>
>> Courage!
>>
>> Caren.
>>
>> On 3/26/2012 10:31 PM, Steve wrote:
>>> I'm not covering anything. It's going to be too cold and too windy  
>>> to
>>> make any difference. Every time I check the forecast, it looks  
>>> worse.
>>> When they were predicting 12 degrees, I figured it was early and
>>> maybe
>>> it wouldn't end up being nearly that cold. No such luck. Here's
>>> what the
>>> national weather service has to say, now that Monday night is here:
>>>
>>> "Clear, with a low around 3. Wind chill values as low as -8. North
>>> wind
>>> between 6 and 10 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph."
>>>
>>> Those are Fahrenheit temperatures, of course. The only  
>>> "precaution" I
>>> took was to pick the daffodils that were in bloom and those showing
>>> color in the buds. I fully expect that flowers, leaves and  
>>> everything
>>> will be killed to the ground. I really don't know what it will do
>>> to the
>>> fruit trees. What a spring.
>>>
>>> Steve (in the Adirondacks)
>>>
>>>
>>> On 3/24/2012 11:04 AM, Caren Kirk wrote:
>>>>   Steve,
>>>>
>>>> As far as this list goes I'd say we're neighbours!
>>>>
>>>> Did my pruning yesterday, there was a lot more green on the cuts
>>>> than
>>>> usual although the buds were all still tightly closed.
>>>>
>>>> Strange insects about with the warm weather, worried that could be
>>>> a new
>>>> problem.
>>>>
>>>> Not worried too much apart from the apricot, can't do much about
>>>> it anyway.
>>>>
>>>> I am going to vigilantly monitor the precipitation though.  A
>>>> couple of
>>>> years back we had a very dry, warm spring and I lost a couple of
>>>> young
>>>> plants (including a young apple tree) and I strongly believe it was
>>>> through lack of water during the spring (never thought to water in
>>>> spring here previously). With the rapid melt and warm weather I
>>>> feel it
>>>> could go that way again. But who know, it could rain all next week!
>>>>
>>>> Good Luck for Monday, I've had a success protecting plants in the
>>>> autumn
>>>> with sheets and blankets, don't know if that's a viable option for
>>>> the
>>>> scale of your fruit production or if it even works in spring.
>>>>
>>>> Caren
>>>>
>>>> On 3/23/2012 12:13 AM, Steve wrote:
>>>>> We live fairly close to each other. You could drive to my house
>>>>> is less
>>>>> than 3 hours. After mid to upper 70s all week, I see the forecast
>>>>> low
>>>>> for Monday night is 12 degrees F (about -11 C). The apples and
>>>>> American
>>>>> Hybrid plums are showing green tips on the buds. The pears and
>>>>> European
>>>>> plums mostly are not showing green.
>>>>> Apples are so forgiving, I bet they will be OK. I'm not so sure
>>>>> about
>>>>> everything else.
>>>>>
>>>>> Steve in the Adirondacks
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On 3/22/2012 1:49 PM, Caren Kirk wrote:
>>>>>>     Steve,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I'm suffering the same weather pattern as you with astonishingly
>>>>>> warm
>>>>>> weather beating all  existing records by over 10 degrees C.
>>>>>> Weathermen
>>>>>> say that it'll be over tomorrow but I'm stressed about getting my
>>>>>> pruning on the go all the same.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The yo-yo temperature pattern we experienced this winter seem to
>>>>>> be
>>>>>> continuing. I wonder how it will affect all my fruits.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Caren Kirk
>>>>>> St. Jerome QC
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 3/19/2012 10:24 PM, Steve wrote:
>>>>>>> On 3/18/2012 10:22 PM, Steve wrote:
>>>>>>>> On 3/18/2012 2:34 PM, sherwin wrote:
>>>>>>>>> On 3/18/2012 12:49 PM, Steve wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> I'm thinking of going out and starting my pruning. It may
>>>>>>>>>> not seem early
>>>>>>>>>> to some of you but it's early here. I usually wait until
>>>>>>>>>> late April when
>>>>>>>>>> the chance of real cold weather is mostly over. I just
>>>>>>>>>> checked and our
>>>>>>>>>> normal high and normal low for this date is 37 and 14
>>>>>>>>>> degrees F.
>>>>>>>>>> Today it's already 70 degrees and the lows for the rest of
>>>>>>>>>> the week are
>>>>>>>>>> in the 40s. I think I'm going to start pruning, at least the
>>>>>>>>>> apples,
>>>>>>>>>> right now, even though it could easily get into the single
>>>>>>>>>> digits on any
>>>>>>>>>> given night for the next 3 or 4 weeks.
>>>>>>>>>> Does anyone think this is a mistake? Apples are pretty
>>>>>>>>>> forgiving but
>>>>>>>>>> what about my pears and plums?
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Steve in the Adirondacks
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>            Steve,
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>            As far as I know, the main requirement for
>>>>>>>>> pruning is that the
>>>>>>>>> tree is dormant.
>>>>>>>>>            Otherwise, you are going to encourage more growth
>>>>>>>>> by pruning an
>>>>>>>>> actively
>>>>>>>>>            growing tree.  So it all depends on how soon you
>>>>>>>>> can get out to
>>>>>>>>> prune, weather
>>>>>>>>>            permitting.  With all this warm weather, if your
>>>>>>>>> trees have
>>>>>>>>> already woken up, you
>>>>>>>>>            may want to postpone your pruning, or at least
>>>>>>>>> limit it.  Cold
>>>>>>>>> weather should not
>>>>>>>>>            bother a freshly pruned tree.
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>                        Sherwin Dubren in Illinois
>>>>>>>> The trees are still pretty dormant, very slight bud
>>>>>>>> enlargement at the
>>>>>>>> very most. Actually, summer pruning would encourage less new
>>>>>>>> growth, but
>>>>>>>> I'm not really worried about any of that on the apples.
>>>>>>>> I was more concerned about a sudden return to very cold
>>>>>>>> weather causing
>>>>>>>> extra die back at the pruning cuts. Also some concern about
>>>>>>>> the pruning
>>>>>>>> cuts being open longer since there may be no growth to start
>>>>>>>> closing
>>>>>>>> them until May.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Steve
>>>>>>> I'm going to add that the high today was 73, the record high
>>>>>>> for the day
>>>>>>> (until now) was 63, and the record low for this date is 19
>>>>>>> below zero.
>>>>>>> Normal low is 15 above zero. It's going to feel like a real
>>>>>>> insult
>>>>>>> when/if the temperatures return to normal.    Steve
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