Late Freeze

grog

Shohin
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So tonight I get to experience my first late freeze and what it does to potted trees, yay! Starting tonight we're supposed to have overnight lows from 24-27 deg F for the next 5 days. Everything except for some collected American elm and mulberry have leafed out. Most of the outdoor stuff I have is elm(parvifolia, pumila, and americana), Amur maple, cotoneaster, boxwood, juniper, yew, larch, quince(supposedly one that is zone 5 hardy), cherry, crabapple, privet, and a straggly Austrian pine. The prunus tormentosa is stuck where it is as it's still in the pot I bought it in and weighs more than i can move. The maples are taller than my ceiling so they're stuck where they are as well unless I cut them back. Everything else is in 1 gal sized containers or larger, so thankfully no tiny root systems.

I had planned on moving everything in during the nights and back out during the day. Doing this for 5 days though.. this could be a problem. I have a fairly well sheltered area everything could be moved to outdoors and I'm thinking this may be the more sensible option. The location is along the side of the house with the house on the east side and a privacy fence on the north side. The pots would be sitting next to blocks forming the basement of the house and should be holding a bit of heat.

Two questions from all this. Do you think this enough protection from temps as much as 8 degrees below freezing? Are any of the trees I previously mentioned especially susceptible to late freezes and absolutely need to be brough indoors?

Thanks much! And good luck to everyone else who will probably be going through the same thing over the next couple days.
 
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It is better to error on the side of caution.

If you have a spot like a garage where there is a window, move them there for the 4-5 days. A unheated enclosed attached porch would work fine also. Not having these areas or a cold frame to store them in, move them in and out every day.

Better safe, than sorry.


Will
 
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So tonight I get to experience my first late freeze and what it does to potted trees, yay! Starting tonight we're supposed to have overnight lows from 24-27 deg F for the next 5 days. Everything except for some collected American elm and mulberry have leafed out. Most of the outdoor stuff I have is elm(parvifolia, pumila, and americana), Amur maple, cotoneaster, boxwood, juniper, yew, larch, quince(supposedly one that is zone 5 hardy), cherry, crabapple, privet, and a straggly Austrian pine. The prunus tormentosa is stuck where it is as it's still in the pot I bought it in and weighs more than i can move. The maples are taller than my ceiling so they're stuck where they are as well unless I cut them back. Everything else is in 1 gal sized containers or larger, so thankfully no tiny root systems.

I had planned on moving everything in during the nights and back out during the day. Doing this for 5 days though.. this could be a problem. I have a fairly well sheltered area everything could be moved to outdoors and I'm thinking this may be the more sensible option. The location is along the side of the house with the house on the east side and a privacy fence on the north side. The pots would be sitting next to blocks forming the basement of the house and should be holding a bit of heat.

Two questions from all this. Do you think this enough protection from temps as much as 8 degrees below freezing? Are any of the trees I previously mentioned especially susceptible to late freezes and absolutely need to be brough indoors?

Thanks much! And good luck to everyone else who will probably be going through the same thing over the next couple days.
Welcome to the dance of the Midwest! Most of what you have is fairly cold hardy. Bring in any Chinese elms, they are subtropical, even if deciduous. Sounds like your option is pretty good, and you could give more protection by covering everything with plastic for the duration. On the ground, there's not much chance they will dry out, especially if you water well now. I just covered my trees after setting them on the ground this morning. I will check again this evening to make sure everything is covered. You should be just fine.
 
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To elaborate, if your decidious trees have started to leaf, bring them in if frost is forecasted. Of course, it goes without saying, your pines and conifers will be fine, all tropicals should go in.


Will
 

grog

Shohin
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Thanks for your thoughts and ideas guys. Just finished moving stuff, it's 2:15 am now:) . The only deciduous material left outside is the nanking cherry which I covered with a sheet and 1 of the 3 large'ish amur maples which is sitting against the house. 1 of the other maples is in the doorless garage and the other is sitting here in the house. We'll see which recovers the best.

Well, have to take that back... there is some other deciduous stuff still outside but only those that haven't popped any buds yet. They include some collected elm and a diospyros virginiana. The quince also hasn't leafed out but I think that may have something to do with it being dead.. we'll see.
 

Tachigi

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Grog, Don't feel bad out here in the east its our turn next. I have 150 trees in pots, that were just brought out from cover. Some in leaf, some not. I physically don't think I could muster the strength to shuttle them back into the tent. So onto the ground they will go with some plastic sheeting to protect from frost. The trees that were recently potted will go in the greenhouse on the floor as I don't want to chance those.

This has been undoubtedly the toughest winter I have yet experienced horticulturally here in the east. The extremes in temperatures over the winter along with ice storms and our move to our new location has taken its toll. I said I had 150 in pots, it use to be 172.
 

grog

Shohin
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It wasn't actually that bad of a time moving everything. I just about blew an O-ring moving the nanking cherry against the house but that was the only difficult part. It was pretty chilly out so I had a rum and coke or 5 to keep things moving along. That may have had something to do with it not being too tedious a task :D

I put a min/max digital thermometer left over from my snake breeding days in the doorless garage and the lowest it got in there was 34 degrees, 8 degrees warmer than the lowest it got to overnight. The garage opens to the east and has a window on the south wall so it gets pretty good diffused light. Seems like a pretty good combo so tonight instead of everything going in the house it's into the garage till probably Sunday.

Here's to hoping this is "the" late freeze of the year.
 

Tachigi

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I had a rum and coke or 5 to keep things moving along.
A good lubricant always helps keep the engine running :)
 
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