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  • Winter kills

    I've not totally given up hope, but several of my shed kept figs appear to have died of extreme cold. While they were in a heated shed, I had a couple of issues. One night the heater did not come on (thermocube = junk), it got down to 12F. A couple of other nights the heater could not keep up, it got 16 - 18F.

    Most of my trees made it -
    Panachee (3 gallon and 2 gallon)
    Chicago hardy (4 trees, all in 5-6 gallon buckets)
    Paradiso JM (25 gallon)
    LSU Scotts Black (3 gallon)
    Corpus White Unk (5 gallon)
    Brown Turkey (5 gallon)

    These have not shown any life yet:
    VdB (3 gallon & 1 gallon)
    RdB (2 gallon)
    Celeste (2 gallon)
    Strawberry Verte (1 gallon)

    I was surprised as VdB, RdB and Celeste are touted as hardy.
    Phil
    Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

  • #2
    Phil, sorry to read you had several losses. I lost most one year old trees in small pots.
    Shailesh, Pennsylvania, ZONE 6B

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    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry to hear that.

  • #3
    Glad to hear that you had more survivors that losses.

    I had a half dozen losses due to a cold spot (draft) on an exterior wall of the enclosed porch storage area. Only the 5 gallon buckets that were on the ground near the wall were killed. The 5 gallon and 1 gallon containers directly above them leafed out normally and are OK. My Lowest overnight temperature was -17 Deg F. but the radiant space heater did its job and kept most of the enclosed porch just above freezing. After the losses in 2013 (Winter of Polar Vortex) I planned on the supplemental heat and overall it was successful especially since this past winter was colder than Winter 2013.

    BTW, a Bears Black (a Bordeaux Cultivar) and a VDB were near the trees that died and they are currently leafing out. The Beers Black even has half a dozen breba that are pea sized and swelling.
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow, -17F. I haven't felt that since I lived in Ithaca, NY. Sorry for your losses Pete.

  • #4
    Based on simple observation of winter injuries of my trees as they are left outside with no protection during the winter, I concluded that VDB is not as hardy as many of my other trees. For example my celeste is much more hardy than this one, but Violette de Bordeaux is a tasty and a very prolific variety.
    Sas North Austin, TX Zone 8B

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    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      VdB certainly is tasty! Even though my tree is small, it produced about 10 figs last year.

  • #5
    Since you didn't specify figs. I lost 2 peach trees (going on 5yr and 8yr in yard) and 1 cherry tree(going on 5yr in yard). We had a polar blast on November 12 with lows of -13F and Nov 13th with lows -14F. The trees weren't fully dormant yet=death. The cherry tree I left about a 1 foot stump with some green under the bark, I'm hoping it throws some shoots above the graft, nothing yet.

    I'm thinking about doing a step over style fig in one of their spots.
    Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
    Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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    • cis4elk
      cis4elk commented
      Editing a comment
      Scott, I was wondering if you lost any stone fruit. Sorry to hear it, but at the same time..misery loves company. I used to have a dwarf peach tree at my old house, it was such a good productive little tree. It made 1 -1.5 bushels every other year. Now I can't get a peach tree to be healthy and produce a good harvest to save my life. The last time I drove by my old house the new owner had cut it down to make room for more grass.

    • COGardener
      COGardener commented
      Editing a comment
      People amaze me!! Who would remove a fruit tree.

      The thing that kills me most is that the bare root nectarine I planted lest year is perfect and bloomed this spring. My other 6 year old peach that is less than 20 feet away bloomed and was covered with peaches. ... until the hail and freezing cold came through. There is still a few hanging on, the birds and tree rats had better beware.

    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow, very sorry, that is tough losing trees that mature in ground.

  • #6
    I lost more than I care to think about, mostly small plants that were in the greenhouse and grew late into the season, weak plants also. Larger trees that went dormant normally are OK, a few had small splits in their trunks. Variety did not make much of a difference.
    .

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    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry to hear that Brent. In hindsight I should have put the small trees in my garage, which stays a little warmer.

  • #7
    Sorry to hear your losses Phil! My in ground RdB survived, let me know if you need cuttings come fall.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

    Comment


    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Kelby. By the way all the cuttings I got from you and started are doing well. Also I was 8/12 on plum grafts, until I knocked one off... I had another one push out buds in the last 2 days. Pears must be easy to graft, I went 13/14 on them.

    • Kelby
      Kelby commented
      Editing a comment
      Pears and apples are the easiest, just jam them together and they take!

  • #8
    It is still early they may still make it.
    RDB should be very cold hardy Is it possible that these 4 had a hard time due to drying out versus the cold?
    Pino, Niagara, Zone 6, WL; variegated figs, breba producers & suggestions welcome
    Breba photos / Main crop fig photos
    Canada Fig Growers

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    • #9
      Sorry to hear it Phil. Did you perform any bark scrape tests on those varieties that appear dead?
      Rafael
      Zone 10b, Miami, FL

      Comment


      • drphil69
        drphil69 commented
        Editing a comment
        I did not scrape bark but I did "test" by seeing if the tips would bend... and on the RdB they did not. They snapped. I will continue to treat them as though they are alive... for now.

        By the way the Paradiso is doing great after its truck ride, root prune, and re-pot. I already had to start thinning out branches. Thanks!

      • Rafaelissimmo
        Rafaelissimmo commented
        Editing a comment
        Glad to hear it Phil. I will probably have to give away the Goccia D'oro this fall, it is humungous and I am out of space!

    • #10
      I have a Strawberry Verte that I put a stool layer on last year. It went into the garage and overwintered it with the layer on. This year the layer has broken dormancy (it is one I have not repotted, yet) and leafed out, but the original plant still has not had any movement. I'm hoping I can bare-root and separate the trees on Monday. I have many other trees which have swollen buds, but not much else. Most of the losses I sustained was to trees which were still green when they went into the garage last year. There is only one tree I did not have a duplicate of.
      Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
      N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

      Comment


      • drphil69
        drphil69 commented
        Editing a comment
        My verte was very young, only started mid- summer, and still had green tip when winter hit. I'm sure that didn't help. Sorry for you losses.

    • #11
      So by posting this yesterday, I threatened those trees. Today, one of the VdBs is pushing buds... lol. The RdB I think is toast, same with the verte and other VdB, which were small. I don't think any of them dried out, as I bought a moisture meter for watering them over the winter. Glad I did as the surface appeared dry while a couple of inches down was quite moist. Overall I am not that disappointed in the losses - they all readily available and it was only a few small trees.
      Phil
      Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

      Comment


      • #12
        If both parts of SV take off, I can put your name on the extra.
        Last edited by Bijan; 05-24-2015, 05:43 PM.
        Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
        N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

        Comment


        • drphil69
          drphil69 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the generous offer, but I respectfully decline. I actually have some Verte/Green Ischia cuttings which is close enough if not identical to SV. I do appreciate the offer!

      • #13
        My VdB was very late in coming back and the RdB was even later.
        Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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