Author Topic: Frozen Branches  (Read 145 times)

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Offline Andrea

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Frozen Branches
« on: November 21, 2022, 01:54:55 PM »
Last week my gardening friend and I walked around the Fig Study looking for branches to cut and propagate. We were hoping to take one branch from each plant to cut into 3-4 sections to try and root.  Our thought was, if any of the trees die over the winter, we'll have a replacement tree to replant in the spring.  (Nevermind the dubious wisdom of replanting a variety that has already shown it can't survive the winter.  That's a topic for another day.) But what we noticed was that the branches don't look right.  We got a very sudden cold snap (down to 25 degrees) on October 18 when the trees were in full leaf and it had been in the 80s just days before. It looks like the sap froze and burst the outer layer of the branches - the tips are brown and shepherd's crooked, the bark is crepe papery, and the leaves are dried up but still very well attached.  We were not planning to prune the trees this first year other than taking a single branch to propagate in case of winter kill.  But I did end up cutting several branches looking for something that might be viable.  A few of the varieties looked better than others, but none of them looked great.

Contrast that to last year when I took cuttings from a local variety in January after multiple deep freezes and the cuttings grew just fine.  This year, almost all the figs in the Study and at my house seem to have been blasted by that sudden early deep freeze.  Does anyone have experience with or thoughts on the viability of branches that have been frozen?  Is freezing before dormancy the issue?  Are there identifying characteristics that predict which stems are still viable and which aren't?

Wish List: The best tasting, cold-hardy, highly productive, non-wasp variety - whether I can pronounce it or not - and another 5 acres to plant figs on.

Offline opiem10

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Re: Frozen Branches
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2022, 07:46:30 PM »
Hi Andrea,
     Having trees in leaf and still growing in near 80 degree temperatures, and then blasted with mid-20's weather will likely result in branch die back.   I lost a lot of branches and even some trees this past April when a late freeze hit my trees that already leafed out.   I think your trees will survive at the root level, but be prepared to lose a lot of branches.
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Online tridrama

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Re: Frozen Branches
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2023, 07:58:28 AM »
I was working outside yesterday and examined some of the older trees. Lots of brittle branches as well. I’m definitely going to need to prune those off but don’t want to do it and we have another “historic freeze”.
Wish List: Tashkent; Imp. Celeste; Nixon Peace; I-258, Texas Peach, LSU O'Rourke, Thibodeaux, Scott's Yellow; heirloom varieties- Ocracoke Is, unknowns; Other: World's Best Mulberry

Offline FigMamaJanet

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Re: Frozen Branches
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2023, 10:51:26 AM »
LeConte, so sorry to hear about the freeze you had and that it effected your fig trees.  Winter can be hard is most areas for fig trees being outside, even in ground.

Hoping that when the Spring arrives and you are able to prune those branches, I am sure the tree will produce figs.

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Re: Frozen Branche
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2023, 12:45:17 AM »
Janet, I don’t think anyone was expecting that degree of a freeze in the south. We’ll just have to see what happens.  Some of the in-ground fig trees seemed to suffer no damage at all. I see the blueberries are blooming already and the elders never even lost a leaf.
Wish List: Tashkent; Imp. Celeste; Nixon Peace; I-258, Texas Peach, LSU O'Rourke, Thibodeaux, Scott's Yellow; heirloom varieties- Ocracoke Is, unknowns; Other: World's Best Mulberry