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Old 12-11-2009, 09:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
Been nuts, gone bananas
 
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Default Harvey's Frost Report - various plants

No signs of warming trends here at my place. We had our latest frost I can ever recall on April 4th (3 weeks later than normal) and then the earliest frost I can remember on 11/16 (a month early). We've had 9 nights with frost with Tuesday night of this week being the worst. I don't know how cold we got. My digital thermometer quit working sometime after 9pm when it registered 27F. I put another thermometer outside which never read below 28F but I don't think that was right as it felt like it quit getting colder. I gave up hopes of my "mystery busy bee banana" sizing up any more this year shortly after midnight and got a ladder and cut the bunch off (a little over 100 fingers). Wunderground reports a station about 25 miles away when I look for historical data (Fairfield) and it reported 19F. I don't think we got that cold, though. The state's station out over the Sacramento River (50 feet from shore on a pier about 1 mile away) reported several hours down to 28F and I'm sure we got colder than that since that was right over a river that's a mile wide and very deep. I'm guessing we probably got into the low 20s.

Note: if you click once on the photo you will be taken to my gallery where you can click on the photo again for a higher resolution copy of the photo (quite a bit larger for the banyan).

Lord Howe Banyan (Ficus macrophylla subsp. columnaris) is reported as the most hardy banyan available and it looks pretty good, IMO. It's about 5' tall and was given to me by Jeff Earl who did not have room for it any longer. It has some leaves that are fried (especially ones that were older and laying horizontal). but it looks like it's a strong survivor.



Thomson Mango shows some frost damage, but not much. It's in a fairly sheltered area as it's going to be a challenge to grow this thing over time. It hasn't had great growth on it for a while and I think I need to add some calcium, but I'll hold off until spring.



Some Indian pomegranate varieties, grown from seeds germinated about 33-34 months ago. Ganesh and Mridula (Ganesh is one of the parent's used in breeding Mridula). Both are evergreen and have flower buds on them while my other poms have lost either all of their leaves or nearly all of their leaves. New growth on Mridula shows some frost damage.





Vermillion pitanga (Surinam Cherry) - no damage.



Kohala longan - I'm surprised at how much damage this shows as it hardly had any damage last year. I wish I had picked the fruit but it wasn't quite ripe.



Sweetheart lychee - I've got this covered with some aluminet shadecloth (extra I had over from my greenhouse) and that seems to help. Both it and the longan and planted close to my house but I guess I should do the same thing to the longan until they both get bigger.



For comparison, my bananas don't look too pretty right now but most will survive. I had hoped my shadehouse next to my shop would provide adequate protection for my young potted bananas but they got burnt to even though I left the window to my heated cookhouse open. I now wish I had put a fan at the window.

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Old 12-11-2009, 11:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Harvey's Frost Report - various plants

My yard looks bad too.. hope everything makes it
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Average January Low: 40F, Average August High: 95F
Typical Low Each Winter: 28-30F, Typical High Each Summer: 108-110F, Annual Precipitation: 22 inches
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
Been nuts, gone bananas
 
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Default Re: Harvey's Frost Report - various plants

How low did you get? I wish I had gone and bought some Freezepruf or at least put on some Anti-Stress 550 which I have. With it getting cold so early this year I figured it wasn't worth putting up too much of a fight. Survival of the fittest!
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Harvey's Frost Report - various plants

We got down to like 23.4 (weather station 1 mile away)..... Pretty cold. Although my digital temp said 25.3 so I'm not exactly sure. Since they are at the bottom of the hill (cold drain), it could have been 25.3 here, it is quite possible. I would like a Davis weather station in my yard someday, which is more accurate.

You know though, the first night of this, we got down to 29 and even with freezepruf, everything looked pretty roasted. Although Kentia, King palms came through without any burn. Then next night when I heard it was getting down to 25, I ripped out my Kentia because it's so expensive and too young to get fried. The Kings got 90% burn. Bananas look like a nuke went off.

Although, my Cat Palms look pretty good. And they were treated with Freezepruf. I think on certain plants, it does quite well. Bananas are not one of them in my experience. Nothing beats burlap and blankets.

Some warm winters we only get down to around 30 due to the geography and conditions here so I was hoping the freezepruf might save the leafs in such a year. Obviously I was hoping this could be a warm year with the El Nino, but instead we got what we got.....

I'm worried my hibiscus is dead that survived last winter. Feel sorry for all my plants. Hopefully next winter will be better.

I am hoping the rain lets up tomorrow for a bit so I can clean up the dead foliage and inspect/trim back the p-stems.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Harvey's Frost Report - various plants

Greetings to all,

Dear Harvey, I saw splendid lemons behind the lychee. In a private message you told me you never had problems on citrus, yet with these temps this is interesting. So please remind me: are they in open field or protected near walls? Are they specific improved varieties?

Thanks a lot
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
Been nuts, gone bananas
 
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Default Re: Harvey's Frost Report - various plants

This lemon is next to my house but lemons are fairly common around here and are ofen in yards 20 feet or even 50 feet from structures. I think we mostly have Lisbon and Eureka lemons but also have some Meyer lemons (too sweet for some uses, IMO). In January 2007 we got down to 20.4F and my lemon tree did get burned back some but not severely. I think there was worse damage maybe about 10 years ago though I don't think we actually got colder. In 1990 there was a worse freeze and more damage was done then (maybe down to 18F, if I recall correctly). When I bought this farm in 1994 I trimmed off some dead branches that had remained since that freeze.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Harvey's Frost Report - various plants

So they didn't die at 20 F nor at 18?

What do you mean by saying that at 20 F it did burn back but not severely? Sorry it is a linguistic difficulty. Thanks again my friend
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
Been nuts, gone bananas
 
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Default Re: Harvey's Frost Report - various plants

No, none of my citrus died at either 20F or 18F. AT 18F smaller branches were either killed or defoliated. No leaves were killed on my large navel orange trees at 20F but some leaves were killed or damaged (burned back, but not severe damage).

Our January 2007 Arctic blast gave us a few nights in the low 20s and at least a couple of days did not warm above freezing during the daytime. During that period my bananas died down to the corms (I only had 4 plants back then).
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