Still cold here! Zone 7 Newport, RI

Just at the first stages of getting my orchard weeded and mulched.

Hi Mrs.
Your trees are still in bloom! Mine gone almost two weeks ago. I have been busy thinning.
Glad to hear from you.

Hi T! These pictures were taken last week. We have had so much wind most of the blossoms are off except for the apples. I hope my apple pollination is good this year as there were so few bees. This week the orchard gets its final weeding around trees then they are mulched for the summer. It looks as if I will have buckets of fruit this year. Finally! It will be great. I hope you will visit. Mrs. G

Wow. Your zone 7 is a lot different than my zone 7 here in middle TN. My peaches were in bloom 2 months ago.

Not too shabby, Mrs. G!

And despite the horrendously long winter and other challenges you endured. Bravo!

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Nice to hear you are up and at 'em Mrs. G.

I didn’t realize how much slower things mature where you are than in my Z 6. Petal fall spray here went down 10 days ago for me and 13 for some of my customers.

We have on shore winds that cool everything down on this island. It can be 80 in Providence or almost anywhere inland and ten to fifteen degrees cooler here (with fog!!!). We are much later. Its only in the low 60’s here today. My Petal fall spray will go down this weekend. At least I had blossoms this year and it looks like I’ll have plenty of fruit. The clean up is going well. Haven’t even bought my tomato plants yet. Too cold. Mrs. G

I just don’t get this. How is it that Mrs.G’s trees in Z7 are so far behind our own in Z6. I thought this was essentially what climatic zones were all about? Are highs and lows so moderated by ocean temps that the weather is more representative of a median average? If that’s the case, I understand it, because I’ve seen many times (as we all have) where a day or two of unseasonably warm weather could advance trees further than normal and even further than what they should.
So are the growing zones purely derived from the lowest expected low and plant hardiness? So they (climatic zones) are really just hardiness zones. I guess I’ve always really known and understood microclimates and the moderating effects of large water bodies, but I’ve not seen first hand such a impressive example of that till now. It surprises me that somewhere so far north of me can be Z7 when everywhere north of me within 100 miles just gets colder and also that for me, I would have to travel due south to get to the nearest Z7 location.

Does any of this make sense to anyone? Reading back over this I’ve not been clear in my question and I don’t know how I can be clearer. I guess Alan and I are both Z6, and it sounds like our stuff is pretty much more or less at the same point, same goes for all the other Z6’ers on the forum, yet here Mrs.G is in Z7 and clearly weeks behind us. That sounds so dramatic as to warrant a lower zone rating, but perhaps her lowest low is much higher and therefore the hardiness trumps it.

Mrs.G, where exactly in RI are you, if I may ask? I looked up Providence, RI, it was Z6 with what sounded to be similar lows to here. Are you on an actual island?
I live up in the mountains here, and we too can (and so often do) see dramatic differences in weather between lower lying areas just 7 miles east. In the winter time people visiting or whatever are always so shocked at how dramatic the change can be. It can be just a wintery day down below with dry roads etc and traveling just 10 miles west can put you in what can look just like the Arctic Circle. Roads impassable by car, total whiteouts and two feet of snow on the road.
Your differences from Providence it sounds like are in a good way. If America was new and population density not an issue, I for one, would want to live somewhere exactly like your place. It sounds perfect to me from a weather standpoint. Oh, and I like fog…I find it calming…lol

Zone doesn’t tell you anything other than ave winter minimum. Large bodies of water are slow to warm in spring and thus delay fruit tree bloom in nearby areas. This is why areas near the great lakes are much better for fruit than similar latitudes away from large bodies of water. Great Britain is another great example. Much warmer in winter and cooler in summer than most areas at similar latitude.

So then I guess the opposite is also true at the other end of the season for Mrs.G…as the air becomes cooler with the onset of Fall, her weather is perhaps held somewhat warmer due to the moderation of ocean temps.

Therefore her season ends up being somewhat longer than some area further inland at the same latitude? OK…I get it, it just seemed so odd to me given Providence’s similar lows to me here in Z6.

So, Zones then are set purely by winter average minimum and only then by extension of that…hardiness.

Got it…thanks.

Appleseed, Fruitnut, you have it right. I have roses in November! It is still chilly today but purchased my tomato plants and other veggies for the raised bed this year. My peaches are just starting shuck split today. Yes, I live on Aquidneck Island. Mrs. G

Thanks for the reply Mrs.G. Aquidneck Island…that sounds like one of those interesting signs that I see when traveling that makes me wonder how on earth this place got it’s name.
Glad you are feeling better Mrs. G.
Always enjoy your dialogue.

Appleseed the name is native American Indian, as are many of the towns and cities in New England. The island is divided into three cities, Portsmouth, Middletown and Newport. I live in the latter. Planting new trees today and spraying. An apple replacement and a new peach. Yes, it is one of those names on a sign you would see while traveling to Cape Cod!

I just plugged Newport into the degree days calculator on another thread and its at 270 now … I am at 900 now. Its surprising what a huge difference there is.

That is incredible. This calculator Scott…where is it?

There are several out there. They were on the How far along are your trees? - #316 by tonyOmahaz5 thread

  • NOAA version, quick but it seems to be a week out of date.

  • another one, I think corn is 50F so enter that.

Thanks, the first one didn’t work, but the last one is really cool. What did you enter for a start and end date? I’m curious to compare here to your place.

That is a great piece of info. What I want to know is why there is no GGD zone system. Could you get on that Scott and formulate one? I’m busy this month.