-11 F wind chill -50

Quick question, peach fruit buds in Iowa don’t seem to be hardy below -5. We just survived the Christmas blizzard of '22 temps got down to -11 and the windchill -50. Did I lose my peaches again?


It probably depends on variety. I have some small wild white peaches my uncle brought me from Illinois and an Intrepid. Last winter we hit -20 below one night and -18 below for several nights. Had a bit of tip dieback, but still had fruit come late August-October.


Cold blooded/sapped animals/plants no not feel wind chill. -11F ===== -11F all the time. Only 98.6F object feel the -50 wind chill. Your 212F car may have a chill feeling in the same wind of -150F. When driving down the road the wind chill is so great that the thermostat won’t even open.

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Minus 12 to minus 15 will generally kill the overwintered peach buds. And this cold spell seemed to come on earlier than normal (were they dormant yet?) Keep your fingers crossed. The hardier varieties might give a few more degrees cushion. Wind chill doesn’t affect them much although it could dry them out eventually


Think we lost reliance peaches at those temperatures. Im only guessing based on past experience.

We are down to -20 every year in Chicago land. I didn’t see big problem in peach. However one year we were down to -30s, I did see damaged branches and no flowers

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Maybe the drying winds are a factor?

Reliance, Contender, and another ‘cold hardy’ old variety are what I have. Contender by far is the tastiest and hardiest. Had peaches until the dericho 2 yrs. ago. Last year we had -6 at Thanksgiving, no blooms. This year -11 at Christmas, I guess we’ll see come this spring. Could be the micro-climate they’re in.
Thanks for all the feed back!

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I think it was too cold


I asked a similar question about a week ago. East Central Illinois here. I think we saw -8 during this storm. And now we’re having a heat wave where the next 2 weeks are all 35-40+ in temps. Some in the 50’s. These extremes can’t be good for my peaches…or the other fruit trees. The Illinois Extension office says temps of -9 or colder is where peaches have issues (depending on variety).

I have 14 different varieties. I presume if it killed the fruit buds I should be able to see some physical changes. I sort of expect similar damage that a spring frost makes… and a week or so later the fruit buds easily flake off with the touch of a fingernail. I don’t really know though as my orchard is still fairly young and I haven’t had experience with a freeze this deep. I usually only worry about frost. Best of luck and success to all of us. It’s always something with these trees!