Is winter over?

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Location
NE Oregon
USDA Zone
5
#1
I live in a zone 5 at 3500' elevation. Been a mild winter here with good snow in the Mts and nothing under 5 degrees here in town. Today it was 45 and tomorrow even warmer. Ground around here is not even frozen now, but it might be higher up. Is it to early to collect conifers/larches, pines, spruces? I don't want to miss an opportunity but also don't want to collect at the wrong time. Advice appreciated. Peter
 
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239
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196
Location
Just south of Atlanta
USDA Zone
8a
#5
The last 2 nights have been the first sub freezing temps we have had in weeks and if the forecast holds we won't have any for another couple of weeks. I have some 3 year old Japanese maples that I will be repotting today....and I may be a week too late
 

Dav4

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North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
#6
The last 2 nights have been the first sub freezing temps we have had in weeks and if the forecast holds we won't have any for another couple of weeks. I have some 3 year old Japanese maples that I will be repotting today....and I may be a week too late
Start a thread on those... I wouldn't want to re-pot this early unless you really had to.
 
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Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
#7
Might be OK where you are, but not here in Virginia where the temps for the next few weeks will be daytime 30s and nighttime 20s. Long range forecast shows it will not break 50 until Feb 26th. Of course it's just a forecast which are seldom right, but why take a chance?
 
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397
Location
Louisiana
USDA Zone
9A
#8
I'm in 9a US and I still think it's not over by a long shot. History tells me that there will be one more major southward push of arctic air before winter gives up.
 

rockm

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Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
#9
Gotta love that kind of thinking...Just because it's been warm in December and early January does NOT mean it's going to be warm in the remaining two months of winter. January and early February are the heart of cold weather. Things are far from finished as far as potential deep cold.

Early warm spells are killers for overwintering bonsai.

Last winter we had very warm Jan. and Feb. with even a string of 80 F days in Feb, if I remember. BUT come March, the bottom dropped out of things. We had a long spell of freezing weather that saw temps in the mid to low 20s at night The warm spell drove more than a couple of my trees to begin to push budding. Then the deep freeze came and froze reawakening tissues in the above ground portions of the trees. I lost a nice bald cypress to that cold, even though it was mulched into my cold pit and the roots were well protected. The top died back to the ground. In hindsight, it and a couple of other trees should have been brought inside a couple of days into the cold spell. Hindsight is a bitch...
 
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Location
Alhambra,IL
#10
It's supposed to start snowing here around lunchtime, and continue until Sunday morning. They're predicting 5 to who knows how many inches. :mad:
 

Dav4

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North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
#11
Gotta love that kind of thinking...Just because it's been warm in December and early January does NOT mean it's going to be warm in the remaining two months of winter. January and early February are the heart of cold weather. Things are far from finished as far as potential deep cold.

Early warm spells are killers for overwintering bonsai.

Last winter we had very warm Jan. and Feb. with even a string of 80 F days in Feb, if I remember. BUT come March, the bottom dropped out of things. We had a long spell of freezing weather that saw temps in the mid to low 20s at night The warm spell drove more than a couple of my trees to begin to push budding. Then the deep freeze came and froze reawakening tissues in the above ground portions of the trees. I lost a nice bald cypress to that cold, even though it was mulched into my cold pit and the roots were well protected. The top died back to the ground. In hindsight, it and a couple of other trees should have been brought inside a couple of days into the cold spell. Hindsight is a bitch...
Same thing happened to me... said goodbye to an outstanding shohin goji berry and every cutting I had struck from it over the previous year and had severe die back on 2 very large, developed collected water elms and one collected hawthorn. The next 10 days here in N GA look pretty typical, which is great, but if we experience another warm up in late January of early February, March will be tough on me and my trees.
 
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102
Location
Yakima Wa
USDA Zone
6b
#12
Peter,
Not sure where in E OR you are, but my experience (23yrs in Central WA which is like much of eastern OR) is that we probably have not come close to seeing the worst of the cold weather yet. And if the low volume of snow we have had so far is any indication, we are likely to see cold snaps without the benefit an insulating layer of snow. In fact this weekend I am moving my remaining unprotected pots to a spot I can protect them from the worst of the cold. [My shimpaku is still recovering from a near death experience last year]
For what it is worth I can sympathize with your desire to get started. I have two yew's in my yard that I will be removing this spring (might as well see what bonsai potential they might have while I am at it) and every time I walk past them I have to remind myself: "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." Emerson
 

rockm

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Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
#13
Same thing happened to me... said goodbye to an outstanding shohin goji berry and every cutting I had struck from it over the previous year and had severe die back on 2 very large, developed collected water elms and one collected hawthorn. The next 10 days here in N GA look pretty typical, which is great, but if we experience another warm up in late January of early February, March will be tough on me and my trees.
I lost the very nice small but stout BC in the picture below--that I got from Zach Smith. Had a lot of potential. A damn shame. I also had some extreme weakening in the top of my old developed BC. I let it go all summer without pruning to get some vigor back in the top. Seems to have recovered, but I had my doubts in April.

newbaldy.jpg
 
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Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
#14
Another ''polar vortex'' dumping frigid air on us is still very likely. I would take some time to scout for interesting trees. Bring some surveyor's tape (that bright colored plastic tape) and mark your finds to collect later. But I would wait. When does the ground thaw normally in your area? When is your normal last frost? I would not start digging until you are within 4 to 6 weeks of your normal last frost.
 
Messages
100
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33
Location
NE Oregon
USDA Zone
5
#15
One thing that happened along with the warmth is I had a yard full of robins for two days last week like they had it figured out and were headed north. our temp chart look like this:

Baker City, OR
Weather averages
Overview
Graphs​
MonthHigh / Low(°F)Rain
January34° / 18°6 days
February43° / 25°5 days
March51° / 27°5 days
April59° / 32°5 days
January34° / 18°6 days
February43° / 25°5 days
March51° / 27°5 days
April59° / 32°5 days
May68° / 39°6 days
June77° / 46°7 days
July85° / 51°3 days
August85° / 50°3 days
September76° / 42°3 days
October62° / 34°3 days
November46° / 27°6 days
December38° / 21°6 days

Freezing in May or even June is not unheard of. I am going to have to be careful of my new maples coming in soon and be ready to put them, and others, into a protected area if the temp gets down there. Kind of a pain, but that's the way it is here. I would suppose I could set them on the ground and cover them if it wasn't to far below freezing also. I will guess that if I see any growth started on anything that it will not do well if temps get below freezing and I would need to move it inside.

I could see going out and looking for trees, but if you expect me to do that up in the forests that I have, and then remember where they were...not going to happen. There has to be a device like a garmen or something out there that will allow me to mark the spots on a map and then refer back to it at a later date. Anyone know of a good device for that? Thanks, Peter
 
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1,200
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Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
#17
Another ''polar vortex'' dumping frigid air on us is still very likely. I would take some time to scout for interesting trees. Bring some surveyor's tape (that bright colored plastic tape) and mark your finds to collect later. But I would wait. When does the ground thaw normally in your area? When is your normal last frost? I would not start digging until you are within 4 to 6 weeks of your normal last frost.
Great advice. The only caveat is if you have a greenhouse to protect the newly collected trees if required. I go when the access is clear and the ground is thawed. The period of time before bud break in the spring is very short. Most of my collection is over 4000 ft elevation so i have lots of time to get ready even if it is earlier this year.
 
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82
Location
Central NJ
USDA Zone
7a
#18
https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/usa/freehold/historic

Weather here has been teetering at that below freezing mark. It's going to be cold next few days so I'm going to move my pots into the shed. They've been outside behind the shed to help air them out and kill some white fuzzy mold growing on the soil. I think that should be cleared off now with the weather being so dry with a little breeze the past few days. They've been protected and somewhat insulated. Going to put them back in the shed out of the sunlight.
 
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Location
Costa Blanca, Spain, zone 10b
USDA Zone
10b
#19
Coldest night of the winter last night at just over 1.1deg C, most of my tenders are in the lounge room and even a few I think would be fine otherwise but better safe than sorry.
I did leave my ficus in nursery pots out though just covered and of course the benji has dropped some leaves although I think it is more from the few sustained cold days that haven't gone above 10dC in the day. Tonight may be another cold one but things go back out tomorrow and a greenhouse arriving Tuesday so all good I think.
 
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