This is from Accuweather. Freezes down to 20 expected at night (Wed) until at least March 1 (28) , in my area in Battle Ground. I don't know about other locales.
Some of my fruit trees have swelling buds, especially pluot and peaches. I think I'll just let nature decide. If I feel ambitious, I might cover some. I'm not certain they are swollen enough to be significantly harmed by the 20F on Wed.
Thanks for the reminder Daniel W.
Its' right on the edge for me of having to bring stuff in.
It has been a crazy month. Last week we had the highest temperature ever recorded in Portland in February and next week we might get close to breaking the record low.
I am sure there are a lot of confused plants out there.
Here are some resources regarding at what stage blossoms.
PennState Orchard Frost Critical Temperatures for Various Fruits.
Michigan Critical Temperatures for tree fruit bud temperatures at various stages, illustrated.
I like the second one better. I am more of a visual learner.
I think it wont be a problem in my orchard at this stage. Later weeks are yet to be determined.
I do have two genetic dwarf peach bushes with swelling buds. They have a polyethylene overhead cover awnings anyway, for peach leaf curl prevention. That might be enough.
As to what to do, it's challenging. Some commercial orchards mist their orchards all night, or use giant fans, In a small yard, a small tree might be covered at night, but you don't want it to overheat during the day so the cover should possibly need to come off in the morning. If potted fruit plants are growing, they can go inside. I am not aware of research with sprays such as wilt-pruf, so I don't know. Plus that's probably expensive.
For what I expect to be minimal or no noticeable loss, I don't think I'll do anything at this point.
The 67 degrees of 11 Feb ties for the 6th-highest Portland temperature for all of February
(ranks below one 71 and four 68s).
It was the highest temperature ever for 11 Feb year-to-date (1Jan>>11Feb).
Record low for 22Feb is currently a rather weak 27 (adjacent dates records are lower 20s).
Here at my locality, there have been some truly nice, pleasant days recently. However, I can feel the cold front moving in, and so can the local birds. Our weather is becoming ever more "whackadoo". I'm not too worried about freeze damage here yet, because the two plants that I've noticed with burgeoning buds are the thicket of flowering quince (--persisting and spreading from the original homestead era [1946-1976?]), and a seedling "purple-leaf plum" near the original homestead cabin site which typically blooms in late February but never sets fruits.
So far, the cultivated fruit trees are still convinced that it's winter and haven't started developing.
The ever-more-anomalous weather and changing climate will only become more vexing as time goes on.
So far I don't see visible damage. Some plums and peaches have buds at early swelling stage. I think the apples and pears are still not far enough along to be damaged. Ditto for grapes and figs. Raspberries have early green shoots, so far no damage. Last night was the coldest, 18F.
I had also already planted chill tolerant seeds- radishes, snow peas, lettuce, carrots. They are not germinated yet as far as I see. It will be interesting to see if they grow as it warms up.
I think we only got down to 21 or 22 Tuesday night. And I haven't been out to inspect the trees this week. I think the Japanese plums and cherry plums were swelling, but I'm not sure how far they'd gotten.
The 10% kill temperature for pome fruits is lower, and they bloom significantly later, so I don't worry about them at all. Plus, they routinely require lots of thinning. 10% or 30% kill might be a blessing Although I wonder how that tends to be distributed on a tree.
I guess we haven't fared too badly at our locality. Hard freezes and frost here, with frozen soil (and/or relictual snow) remaining in the shade. According to my wife (--the "morning person"--), the lowest temperature when she's gotten up recently was about 17 or 18 degrees F. In the 20+ years that we've been here the lowest that I recall was 6.8 degrees. Harsh! As might be expected, it took its toll on various plants. [In that same timespan, the earliest killing frost here was on a September 17th. I remember driving around locally and seeing gardens with corn and squash blackened overnight.]
Thankfully, hardy fruit trees here haven't yet been fooled into breaking dormancy, despite some clear, sunny days with temps into the mid- to upper-40's, and are remaining dormant. Cross fingers. Knock on wood. Etc. It's late February, but none of us are soothsayers when it comes to the weather. It's always a wait-and-see.
[Today, just received my apple scion wood from Joanie at the TOC. Good stuff! ...Now the wait for the rootstocks from a new source....]
It was very cold in Philomath for the past few days. In the teens at night, so hard freezes. We have some rain collection buckets outside and they have all had ice on them every morning. We didn't get any bud break, or ice damage so far. It is now raining and is expected to rain for about a week. Last year this time we had a horrible ice storm, and lost power for a week. The kiwis didn't have any fruit, I suspect the ice killed the male blooms. The kiwi bloomed heavily and we had lots of pollinators. So many in fact I put up houses for mason, leafcutters and carpenter.
Jafar said (in relation to freeze damage):
"...10% or 30% kill might be a blessing, although I wonder how that tends to be distributed on a tree."
Jafar -- Judging from some of the plum and apple tree damage that mine suffered last year from the couple of heat waves, I suspect that it tends to hit the newer growth and extremities, kind of like when a human gets frostbite. The first things to go are fingers and toes. One hopes that the damage isn't so severe that it impacts the larger, established branches, and will allow for healthy new growth from those.
[cmullin: I hope that you got my PM response from a day or two after your PM. I'm never quite sure what "goes through" and what doesn't.]
Reinetts I got the one on the 17th, if you sent one later I didn't get it.