Winterkill report for SW Nebraska

We had 75f in mid Jan and then sub zero again in Feb. Here are what did not survive, that I have seen so far. 114 trees dead so far. All are on subsurface drip. All were painted white to protect from the sun.

Every Sweet Cherry, Van, Sweetheart, Hedelfingen, Stardust. They were on Colt, mazzard and G6. All rootstocks are dead.

All CT500 Mahaleb rootstock with Montmorency Cherry is dead, including the root.

The wifes snowfountain weeping cherry is dead on the top, but the root is still alive. Im not sure what stock that is.

Here is what survived.
Every Apple, peach, apricot, and plum.

Balaton, Meteor and Montmorency on regular Mahaleb.

Montmorency on Krymsk

Sorry to hear that, 114 trees is a big loss! Are you in western or eastern NE?

Have read that cherries look for a way to die. That’s one recipe. Am a little surprised Mazzard didn’t do better but guess it was too severe for everything.

That really sucks. Im sorry. To think that ive been painfully worried about it getting below 32 some nights and killing a couple flowers on my trees.

Southwest Nebraska. It got way too warm. The alfalfa was growing small leaves, wheat started greening up, and the Cottonwood buds were swelled almost pinky sized.

It really surprised me to see tart cherries winter kill. Deep down I know sweet cherries just won’t work here. 100 of them were montmorency and that’s what hurt.

The wife’s weeping cherry might be on mazzard and that root survived, so my losses on mazzard might have just been the few that were more exposed.

Sorry to hear about your big loss.

Are you in zone 5? I am in zone 6a but this winter it felt like 5a. We got at least 105" of snow (still having a couple of feet on the ground even though it was in the 40 F for 3 days this week) We had quite a few -5 to -10 F nights from mid Jan - end of Feb. Those subzero nights were mostly not in a row (thank goodness).

How young are your trees? Newly planted may be more susceptible to severe weather? Two of mine are on Gisela 5 and the other two are seedlings (I think). All look fine. 3 out of 4 are 4 yrs old trees. The one planted last spring looks fine, too.


That’s heartbreaking.

Take comfort in what DID survive.



Good to see you hear. Wish you had better news to report. 114 trees, that’s a bitter pill. Do you know exactly how cold it got where you are?

I’ve read mahaleb is more winter hardy than mazzard, but mazzard tolerates wet soils better. I had trees on both mazzard and mahaleb, but we generally don’t get the test winters you do.

Did the fruit buds on your peaches survive. You can tell by slicing them open and see if they are brown or green in the center.

We are facing the potential for a spring freeze here. It’s been warm every day and bud development is advancing faster than I’d like. I don’'t think it will be long before we will be in full bloom, but there is still a significant potential for cold weather.

I am zone 5, but it sure didn’t feel like it in Jan.

No open, I didn’t see how cold it got. We didn’t get a test winter concerning an extreme low, only the huge swing from Jan 75 to Feb sub zero.

Peaches buds are fine here. I can definitely see some potential for problems with all the heat though. Even my stuff in pots in the shop/shade are starting to swell.

I’ve always thought it was the temp swings that are worse than just cold temperatures, this reinforces my opinion. Michigan will have much colder temp and trees have it much easier there.

Steady cold is vastly easier on plants than the violent swings we see on the western plains. We were up to 75-80F for 2-3 days at a time on five occasions in Jan and Febr. But the coldest we’ve been since is 20F not zero. Still we’ve already had freeze losses twice on early blooming stuff and still face at least 5 weeks of freeze risk.

I’m making plans and trimming trees so I can cover a few things: Orangered and Robada apricot are my prime candidates for protection. I’ve never had a decent crop of either outdoors.

Yes we do, but at least you have green buds, my peach buds look dead. I did not slice any open. No trees lost, so here to fruit another day! My low temp this year was -16F.
Man I went out that day and it was brutal! Both my cars would not start. A new battery in one! I did get a replacement for free though. So much for die hard, it did die, and a very hard death! In the garage my sweetcrisp blueberry survived all of this! As did Southmoon, Legacy, and Cara’s Choice.
I have them outside now, the garage was just for the extreme weather. It’s too warm in there now. Ground is still frozen here even after 5 days of 50 F weather.
I have 143 onions I want to plant ASAP! My pepper are doing well, and I got about 98% gernination of my tomatoes, best ever!

My location recorded 91f yesterday, which broke the previous all time high of 88f from 1930’s. I have 8 weeks of frost danger left, so I have no hope for any peaches. Here is a picture I took yesterday of one of my peaches shoots.

I feel for you brother! We must be pretty close to each other. Did you say you were located by Cambridge before? We were at 91 as well. Still have trees to dig and ship so I am hoping for cooler weather!

Yes I’m about 25 miles SE of Cambridge. Where are you?



If I’m not mistaken, I only see green calyx in those fruit buds. They should be good down to lower 20s. Hopefully the peach crop will surprise you this season.