Winter Damage Surprises

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)June 6, 2014

You got any?

How about this Paperback Maple. Its actually 10 years old and its just barely putting out some growth on the interior and the majority of the top half is dead.

All my dawn redwoods and European beeches died as well. Otherwise damage was fairly random across species. For example my 7' x 10' Viburnum plicatum put out tiny leaves then they shriveled up. Sure enough the trunk was brown. That one hurt along with the redwoods and beeches due to their sizes and desirablity of cultivars.

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Yep, just pulled out a desirable Japanese maple this morning, likewise about ten years old. One branch left surviving, with about five leaves on it. A cercis crapped out as well. It was getting long in the tooth, and was a on death row as it was, but the winter kind of speeded it up. It was felled two days ago. I have a completely denuded Edith bogue, and I'm sure there is some branch death, but it's sprouting out along the limb right through the bark where I'd never expect it. She wants to live, but I'll have to sit on that one to see what kind of remediation (if any) it shall need and shall decide then. Lost the top off an acer campestre, just the very top. It's quite large for one and short of a bucket truck don't know if or how that can be made a bit more cosmetic. Lost all the bloom buds to the ornamental cherries and fruiting on all my orchard peach trees. One rhodie on the east side was more beautiful than ever before, but two others got their bloom buds fried. Several native azaleas taken back almost to the ground as well as a yellow eye rhodie and a huge and lovely viburnum. Spotty damage on a sweet bay magnolia, but nothing a little pruning won't fix.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:05PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

An eight year old Pinus resinosa 'Don Smith' completely dead. Resinosa should be hardy to zone 3. A 10 year old Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Torulosa' ...dead. Damaged, but not dead 15 year old Viburnum plicatum and Amelanchier xgrandifolia-each about 1/4 dead.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:22PM
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My Paperbark looks the same.

Magnolia 'Butterflies' is dead.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:35PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

My paperbark had a few inches of tip dieback. Otherwise fine. I have a three Cornus floridas all fifteen to twenty feet tall. One has maybe 50 small leaves. Another near it has quite a number of dead branches but flowered ok. The third suffered some dieback a few years back but pulled through fine.

Both my Ogon and regular metaseauoia look very good.

Some Ilex something or others are mostly dead.

A rough winter for sure.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 11:10PM
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The Taxus still look terrible. Even the ones that don't look fried and are green on top seem to be only budding out on the sides. My hemlocks, which I planted 3 years ago, are all but dead.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 11:16PM
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arbordave (SE MI)

Visited an area nursery that has both straight Acer griseum and the hybrid "Molly Fordham" (griseum x maximowiczianum). The straight griseums looked much like the one in whaas' photo, but the hybrids showed no injury.

Surprising to see some injury to well established (20+ yrs) sawtooth oaks. Not as surprising to see widespread injury to well established sweetgums ("Moraine" & "Lane Roberts" came through OK).

My "Galilean" ('Galzam') Chinese dogwood was damaged, but most of the branches should recover.

My "Arnold Promise" witch hazel was killed down to the snowline.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:09PM
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Surprisingly, I only lost a couple of peach trees - totally expected. But a number of trees were extremely late (even more so that the rest of the trees) to leaf out, and many only leafed out in sad looking patches.
Sweet cherry, dawn redwood (one died back to about 1' from ground, the other only had minor tip damage), redbud, black gum, peach, minor damage to magnolias (one lost its flowers, but leaves were fine), English walnut, minor tip dieback on sweet chestnuts and horsechestnuts and red horsechestnut, red oak.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:48PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

My Exclamation London Plane Tree died as well. Surprised on that one.

The bark literally dessicated and flaking from the trunk.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:13PM
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Encountered about 1/3 dieback of a 10ft tall bloodgood (an authentic graft) japanese maple, in zone 7b south facing. Unbelievable.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Ditto on A. griseum. Mine looks very similar to yours. On the other hand, A. maximowiczianum, which is a short distance away, seems to have been invigorated by the miserable winter and has already grown 1'. In any case, It looks like my experiment to get a natural hybrid of the two is over.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:04PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I didn't lose any trees, but a Buddleia died back to the ground, and I had a Rosemary kill completely as well.

Lots of Crape Myrtles have dieback around here, too.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:33PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Funny what a difference a climate zone makes. Buddleia and the Crapes are virtually perennials here.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:16AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Our Fire Dragon Shantung Maple has thick corky bark, but yet still managed to get what appears to be sun scald at the bottom of the trunk on the southwest side. It's not a small area either. It's probable about 4" wide at it widest. I would not expect sunscald on such thick bark, but there it is. This same tree survived -25F with a couple lost smaller branches, and one frost crack on the north side that quickly closed. Now it wait and see if it can close the wound over the next couple of years.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 1:39PM
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"Our Fire Dragon Shantung Maple has thick corky bark, but yet still managed to get what appears to be sun scald at the bottom of the trunk on the southwest side."

Mmm, that is interesting. I'm thinking of buying Acer miyabei 'Rugged Ridge', and now you've got me thinking about this. This should probably be in the maples forum...

When it comes to cold and nasty winters, those of us in the north sometimes scoff at reports of a rough winter from our southern brothers & sisters. We shouldn't do that. Excuse me if you've already posted this (there's certainly been enough threads about the harsh winter), but did Arkansas experience an unusually cold winter? My daughter lives in Tulsa and I don't recall her making many weather-related comments during our phone conversations. On the other hand, she's got a 5-year-old and probably doesn't spend a whole lot of time dwelling on the weather. That's grandpa's job. ;)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:35PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

No worries, about not being impressed by our version of "cold winter". I'm well aware that it is much much worse in your part of the world. We do much the same thing when people from the north complain about the heat. When I see people complaining about 80-85F and 65-70F dewpoint, I'm not much impressed either. It's for this reason I don't state allot about our weather unless it's really exceptional, and then I only talk about it in relative terms (i.e. the 18" below average rainfall a couple years ago).

Yes we had our own version of a cold winter, with a big difference. The overall average was significantly below the long term average, but that average is misleading. Especially in January, the weather was very unstable. Very rapid and short warmups to well above averaged, followed by sudden drops to much colder than average. All with LOTS of wind. I'm also in an unusually cold valley location with very very fast temperature drops in the evening. As for absolute lows temps, I had multiple nights of sub-zero (remember I'm 6b), with a couple of -6F. Above average snowfall, but below average liquid equivalent. As for Tulsa, they were their winter was colder than average as well, but its frequently the case that Northwest Arkansas climate is significantly different that Tulsa, and that held true this past winter as well (they were much drier, and often got a more glancing swipe by the cold air masses).

Back to the trees for a moment. I planted a Trident Maple for a friend a few years ago. He lives southeast of my location, probable borderline Zone 7a-7b. This tree has a very bad case of Sun Scald this year, and I'm not sure of it's long term. But his other trees seem unaffected. In my own trees, the Shantung was affect as indicated, but our Sugar Maples, Paperbark Maple, Triflorum, Freeman Maples, Ginkgo, Redbud etc had not issue with Sun Scald (some tip dieback as expected on some Japanese Maple). I would not have been so surprised if there had been some issues with the thin barked trees, but the relative thickness of the Shantung Bark, yet the only one with damage, caught me by surprise.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:00AM
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Most unusual that any version of Pinus resinosa should succumb. That cultivar must have carried some weakness along with the dwarfing (or whatever) genes. Red pine is about as fool-proof a tree for the north as exists.

On my tree farm, and those from Conifers forgive me for repeating myself, I had concerns about the appearance of the buds on my several thousand Norway spruce. Happy to report complete recovery on those. Earlier in the spring, my hybrid larch-Larix marschlinsii-were also making me nervous. Now larch is a genera that makes it all the way to the arctic circle and beyond, but the hybrids are half Jap. larch, and I was concerned that these normally super-early-to-green-out trees were not doing anything. Well, it was just a slow, cooler than average spring and they are now looking perhaps better than they ever have.

Two items I've completely written off for this northern location-dawn redwood and Green Giant arbs. The GG's may not be dead but they will be as soon as I take my saw to them. Very ugly plants, especially in that location which is home to "northern white cedar", AKA Thuja occidentalis, the latter of which came through just fine.

So I drop a few foo-foos (Oh, can't forget the silly experiment which was Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Oregon Blue", I'm done with them too!) but the vast bulk of this reforestation planting is doing great. Likerwise, ALL of the native species in my woods-white pine, the aforementioned N. white cedar, paper birch, balsam poplar, quaking aspen, red maple, sugar maple, basswood, Canadian hemlock, whatever else I've got get the picture.....not so much as a blemish.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:04AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

We seemed to escape a lot of the major issues here in MD. We had long-duration cold, too (the Chesapeake Bay froze more than it has in 30 years), but we didn't have quite the ultimate minimums (BWI airport, 12 miles from me, did not get below zero, although Wash-Dulles airport did twice), and our warm spells weren't as warm, meaning less of a chance to come back out of dormancy to any degree between cold blasts.

Still there was some damage, a lot of Crape Myrtles have significant dieback, you drive down the street and see a lot of them leafed out only on one side.

Didn't seem to lose any of the fruit tree blossoms, redbud blooms, etc, but I did see some dieback on Acer palmatum, among some of the weeping laceleaf types, which surprised me since we never really got below maybe -2F or so at the coldest spots.

There were some losses among things like palms (esp. Trachycarpus fortunei) which are marginal, anyway.

I'd be curious if anyone in my area with a Quercus virginiana or Q. myrsinifolia could chime in.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:22AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

My columbus strain Redbud didn't have any dieback but it didn't flower until early May and then didn't leaf out until a couple week ago.

I have a 'Covey' too but its somewhat protected against winter sun and its ok. I suspect it doesn't have any northern seed qualities to it.

Its clear that the temps had little to do with the winter damage. It was the extended and constant frozen root state along with the wind and winter sun that did plants in.

I checked on two very large Bald Cypress (for our area) in zone 5b south of me. Both DEAD.

I'm sorry but Bald Cypress is zone 6. If someone has a proven northern seed source that is hardy I'd love to know.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:05PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Reading this the results are all across the board and inconsistent from location to another.

I would say a lot of damage is freak-damage where it shouldn't have occurred.

whaas, you were hit maybe the worst and I can't explain it. I doubt you should try to either. I mean Bald cypress..... paperbark maple......

My friend north of you planted xgriseum 'Cinnamon Flake' and her entire tree leafed out where my leader did not. All the native pecan seedlings I grew from zone 5b in IL are alive for her, I thought they'd be toast. She lives in the wide open. Heck I was looking outside comptemplating whether I was going to cut my lawn and she was walking around in snow shoes with 2-3' of snow. Crazy! She's 5a........

I'll say this similar to what I said on the conifers forum - don't even attempt to figure this out. It's wild, it's really wild.

P.s. a friend 30 miles south of me lost all his peach trees..... mine are fine, in fact they didn't blink.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:37AM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Just goes to show that cold hardiness is not as cut and dry as we would like to believe.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:22AM
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Here's a thoroughly dead bald cypress at my place of employment, 30 miles north of Chicago.

And here's one of 5 thoroughly living bald cypresses --all located in the same outdoor dining area.

Go figure.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:20AM
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Pawpaws top growth was wiped out for me, so guess they weren't liking the frozen block of soil this winter. Many of my pines 15' and under heavily damaged.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:07PM
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