Apricot and J. plum buds are rapidly swelling- saw some cot blossoms in Greenwich yesterday already showing some color… in February! Got tulips pushing through as well- surprised the crocus aren’t up. We are finishing up 3 days of mid-spring warmth and are slated for another in the coming week.
Apple growers around here used to say the apple crop was wiped out only once a generation by weather and during my first 25 years here even the peach crop was only knocked out twice and one of those wasn’t a complete knock-out like last year. It is possible there will be no more hard frosts after about the 3rd week of March, but that would be uncommonly good luck.
We had crocus blooming in northeast ohio two days ago, honeysuckle vines have lots of leaves. I posted some pictures of various trees to document what stages they were in on the following thread Bud Pictures Early Spring 2017
It was close to 60F here in coastal Maine today. We have a foot of snow on the ground and I’m hoping that has at least some effect in holding things back, but at these temps and with the rain the snow is going fast. Forecast calls for highs mid 40s, lows high 20s through the next week. Normally I prune late March but may have to go sooner to be sure of dormant scionwood.
If the climate is going to be crazy like this going forward, we’d best figure out how to respond if we want to get crops. My orchard slopes to the NNW which helps it hold snow, and it’s surrounded by trees on the E, S, and W. I was thinking to thin those woods radically to let more light in, but I wonder if I should hold back so at least the first couple of rows benefit from partial shade to hold them back in the spring?
The other thing that comes to mind is to plant the latest-blooming varieties available; the apple that I’m thinking of is Medaille d’Or. For the first couple years I was convinced it was dead since it showed no signs of life even when the rest of the orchard was leafed out, but it was perfectly healthy. Unfortunately it’s not the most reliable cropper and it’s so tannic it’s pretty much useless for anything but cider; nonetheless for the last few years I’ve contemplated grafting a small block of them to be sure of having some cider fruit.
Poking around on the web I see Goldrush, Northern Spy, and Winesap listed as late-bloomers, and a bunch of others I’m less familiar with. Does anybody have a comprehensive list of varieties by relative bloom date readily at hand?
Yeah, I cut all the J. plum wood I need today and it is wrapped and stored in the scion fridge (small with no dehydrating auto-defrost). Hopefully the buds won’t keep growing as they sometimes can, even in refrigeration. I’ve never had to harvest scion wood this early. Peaches tomorrow.
I think I’ve got another week here in Maine, but may cut tomorrow to be safe.
I’ve had good luck storing the individual varieties in 1gal freezer bags, then putting all the bags in a 2.5gal freezer bag with some wet paper towels in the larger bag (not directly on the wood), with the whole puffy package in the crisper drawer of the fridge. I figure the damp paper should set the RH in the outer bag right at 100%, and if the whole thing is isothermal there shouldn’t be much gradient to move moisture in or out through the walls of the sealed 1gal bags.
I’ve never had any indication that the scionwood ‘times out’; I usually keep grafting this and that onto wild trees in the woods well into May, get caught up in the vegetable garden about then, and rediscover the scionwood in the bottom of the fridge around midsummer;) So if anybody is looking for cider scions late in the spring, I may be your man;)
I read here that some folks wrap each stick with parafilm; I’ve never done that though it seems like a good idea for the all-at-once interstems I’m planning to make this spring.
Wow, your buds are really growing, here north of you I’m in a little better shape, Swelling, but no green at all yet. What a nice collection of trees! Very cool! I’m going to have to hit you up for scion next year!
Not necessarily, things will be a long ways from bloom Mar.7- here 13 degrees would probably be no problem- last year we got 17 at full bloom for J. plums and it still didn’t destroy everything. I’m worried more about what comes abut 2 weeks after. Actually that cold spell might even save us-as long as next week’s 3 days of predicted warmth don’t push things too far forward.
Thanks! I have Rox, Spitz, and 16, with NP and Goldrush scion on the way; will look to pick up a few others.
Re cold coming, I’ll take it - fortunately our buds are still sleepy and since we have zero chance of getting through spring without a hard freeze, the longer they stay that way the better. Snow is going fast though - Here’s a peach along the driveway this morning; it’s melting out around the neighbor’s pines…
No. I have never sprayed anything but neem here. A little nerve toxin on a yellowjacket nest once too. I’ve carpet-bombed the place with Milky Spore. Japanese beetles are terrible here. But nothing else.
I will be trying to minimize sprays, and have much to learn on that front.
I will be doing nylon footies. So far, no major disease problems.
I am open to using Surround, and perhaps other tools such as dormant oil and fungi fighter, depending on what I encounter, but I really don’t want to spread toxins or heavy metals if I can avoid it. I have much to learn, and I imagine I will learn some things the hard way.
I am still in that nymphic blissfully ignorant planting-out phase of orcharding. Not the crying over moldy peaches or bacterialized apple/cherry branches yet.