Tree location and delayed flowering. Myth?


#1

Given that I’m in a late frost climate, I was hoping that if I planted a peach tree on the north side of our house, I could delay blooming. However, I do not feel that has helped delay blooming at all and may be an old wives tale. I actually have two peach trees, a contender that gets at most an hour of sunlight in the winter, and an Elberta that gets a lot of sunlight in winter. They are now borh blooming in unison. I’ve also looked around the neighborhood and other peach trees are now blooming as well. In addition, I have two apricots blooming at the same time even though they received dramatically different amounts of sunlight in the winter.

Bottom line is that I’m really not buying into the idea that where you plant your trees can affect when the tree blooms. Mulching has not made any difference either in bloom time. Last year, my peach trees, along with the neighborhood’s peach trees, bloomed together. Last year we also had a mild winter and the trees bloomed several weeks earlier, but still all at the same time!

I just wanted to share my highly scientific, annacdotal observation.


#2

here’s my anecdote, which involves blackberries, not trees, because I don’t have any fruiting trees. . . yet.

my parents live about 1/5 of a mile away, so there’s not much gross difference in climate. last year, I bought a four-pack of prime ark freedom blackberries, all quite small and similar in size. I kept one, gave my folks one, and gave a couple others to friends.

I used the same potting mix for both, but my folks’ PAF was in a sunnier spot than mine; their plant gets several more hours of sun per day. and this year, their PAF flowered about a month ahead of mine.

so in my experience, location does make a difference in flowering.

perhaps when two plants of the same species and strain are close by, even with differing microclimates, there could be other factors (e.g., plant pheromones) at play to synchronize their flowering.


#3

I am sure it is dependant on climate zones as well. Where I live the north side of the house still has snow when the south is clear and warm. The soil is still frozen and trees will bloom later. I don’t know if this is the case in warmer zones.


#4

it works but it depends on how far away the tree is away from the house, how tall the house is, how tall the tree is, ect If the tree is planted on the north side your house and is in full shade until the chance of frost has past you should notice a difference. But… the plant shouldn’t be close enough to the house to collect heat radiating from the house or planted near a dryer vent or HVAC unit. All these things can warm up the ground and air around the plants especially if air circulation around the plant is low. Mulch depending on color and depth can actually heat up the soil instead of cool it down. 1 inch of dark colored mulch absorbs solar heat like asphalt does and transfers it into the soil. Mulch 4-6 inches deep helps cool the soil but doesn’t really help delay flowering. I’m trying many things here to help deal with late frost but finding things that bloom late or that are not affected by late frost is an ongoing challenge.


#5

My land is cut out of a forest so shade varies from spot to spot, and I have found a significant difference in time fruit ripens based on location- I’ve also found greater survival of flower buds in shady spots- now I will look closer to investigate actual time of flowering.


#6

Perhaps the fact that yours where in containers and @danCO had his in the ground made a difference. The temperature effect on roots would be different.


#7

I have definitely observed heat loss from the house affecting potted trees right up against the house. For me it means frost protection, but it is possible it promotes earlier blooming as well. The trees will be warmer overnight compared to trees away from the house. When I keep container trees in my unheated garage all winter, they seem to bloom earlier. On one hand, I don’t think they warm up as much during a warm spell as the outside trees, but on the other hand they don’t get as cold during cold spells. It seems the cold nights and warm days always playing a numbers game, fighting back and forth until the warm temps win. Maybe the absence of extreme cold matters more than the presence of higher heat in whatever calculation is going on.