My backyard orchard video (pre freeze)

Here is a video I took of my backyard an hour ago. The weather forecast calls for 3 nights down to 28 degrees, and then another freeze on the weekend.

This food forest is about to start its third year. The Santa Rosa plum and Korean pears have been in the ground for 3 years. This will be the second spring for the pluots. All of them have fruit hanging now.

I’ve been at my house for 5 years almost and there is always a false spring followed by many March and April freezes. And I’m tired of worrying about late freezes. When I planted my forest I didn’t take late frosts into consideration.

Now I am. I am slowly replacing all of my early bloomers. I took a video and I will make an after video if anyone is interested. I’m offering zero protection to the fruit and I will document what happens.

The first night has 4 hours of sub freezing temps. From 32 down and back up. The next day has 5 hours and so does the following, 5 freeze hours. The lowest temperature will be 28 as of now.

I just finished planting a lot of buffaloberry and other nitrogen fixing shrubs. All berry producing.

Cutting out by fruit trees has had me down. But I think I Have a solution.

I’m only on 1/4 acre. So I only want fruit that reliably produces. Because every inch matters


Wow…you have it going on there with the food forest stuff. Looks great… and a lot of work… which it sounds like you are like me and really enjoy such.

I am hoping it does not get as cold as they are forcasting… a degree or two warmer could sure make a difference.

My forcast is 30 tonight and 27 tomorrow night. It is not unusual for my actual temps to be +2 to +4 above my forcast.

Best of luck to us all !!!


I really enjoyed your video. It was great to see your perspective of why you put trees in certain places. Honestly a bit jealous of all your trees. Good luck with the frosty weather and happy growing. I will definitely watch the follow up video. Also, great looking dogs. Love the pups. The lamp man is pretty slick too. Nice to meet you. It feels like I came over for a visit.


FROST on BUDS PictureTableofFruitFreezeDamageThresholds.pdf (721.8 KB)

I think you’ll enjoy this


Your place looks awesome! Amazing work, you’ve got the plan executed well, love the paths and mulching. Late frosts are such a bastard. A very big problem for me too here in my backyard in Ireland. All my pears are about to flower way too early now except for a great late flowerer called Durondeau.

I’m planning to breed apples based around very late leaf/flowering. Court Pendu Plat is relatively easy to find and leafs out so very late it’s great, and I picked up some other later flowerers to breed with it :slight_smile:

You mentioned you have some persimmons coming. I have some too, but I’m a bit worried because I heard they can get messed up with late frost after it leafs out (not flowers but the wood itself). Thankfully temps don’t get that low here below freezing.

Wishing you best of luck with the freeze!


I have noticed that the persimmons and pawpaws lost their leaves in October. They were very frost sensitive. I am new to these fruits so I’m not sure if they bloom early. They’re still completely dormant here. Well, one pawpaw just started to leaf out. We will see…

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I think he won’t!


Persimmon bloom and leaf late but are very freeze sensitive once they start growing. I’ve had to protect mine from late freezes several times. A tarp with heat source inside does the job. I think most years in SC they will be late enough to avoid damage.

There are fruits that are late enough to mostly avoid the late freezes. You’ll figure out what those are. But to a certain extent one has to accept losses some years. Peaches will take some losses but are certainly worth growing in SC.

I’ve grown many years in climates with more late freezes than SC. Amarillo was so bad I moved to CA. The air quality there was so bad I moved back to TX but 400 miles further south. We still get freezes and hail here but not as bad as Amarillo.

My approach here was to put in a 32x54ft greenhouse. That was the best money I ever spent. 18 years with nothing below 34F. And the best fruit I’ve ever grown. Now I can control not only freezes but timing of chilling and the amount of heat. Right now the GH is set for 56F at night and 92F for the high. I love having control. I’ve had up to 7 months of main crop fig harvest: June into January. Stone fruit April into October.


Oh, and here is the vision. This 15 second video was taken in December.


Bananas were killed. They were covered. But they’re turning brown. The fuzzy kiwi is ok. It was covered in a blanket.
Not checking the fruit trees because tonight will be 28 for a few hours. That’s the test.

Pawpaws are definitely susceptible to early blooming and frost/freeze damage to leaves and flowers.
With the crazy warm February here in TN, my pawpaws are blooming hard. They will all meet their icy demise tonight.
The only hope is the buds that are still closed tight.
Lower latitudes have been rough for pawpaws last few years.

Do they produce new leaves if they get wiped out?

I have Redfield apples about to bloom, but the Asimina Triloba just have pea-sized buds here.

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I’m afraid a real ‘test’ is headed my direction…21 is the forecast tonight. Then again in four days.

Nice ‘forest’.


Lucky you!

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Yep. And to my surprise last year they even formed some new flowers. Was not previously aware this was possible.


I have about 30 shrubs about to break dormancy. Buffaloberry, pea shrub, silver berry, goumi, redbuds,

When the mulch is finally decomposed into soil the entire floor area will be covered in vetch, clover, strawberry and ferns. The supporting shrubs are too small to see now.

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My peashrub, silverberry, goumi all leaf early too and seem pretty frost hardy. The eleagnus won’t flower for quite a while after leaves come.

I think some die back / heavy pruning is good for mature nitrogen fixers as when the root mass is much larger than the plant afterwards some roots will die back releasing their nitrogen stores.


I saw a post up there saying “nice”forest”” which is a comment I get often. I’ve actually removed myself from all Facebook groups because of that comment. It gets old.

I started building this garden in 2020. I’m only one man. I worked 60 hours a week so I was limited. Total price in materials was about $10,000 over two years. I’ve spread 20 chip drips loads because I am in clay mixed with stone. I had to transform the entire 1/4 acre. So the mulch is creating that topsoil I need.

I’ve spent over $8,000 on the plants. Fruit trees went in first. The mulch is a foot high so all of the tender plants died. My blue fescues and asters and all. Because the mulch is too tough. Well after about 3 years it’ll be soft enough to plant in. But my yard is littered with support shrubs. Those all got planted this year.

It’s going to be a slow process to create this forest. But I am calling it a forest because that’s what it will be. It takes time.

Many things in the forest are still dormant. Such as all the bulbs, flowers and lupine. It’s completely dormant now.