ArborJet’s Tree Injection system allows us to inject tree care medicines directly into the sapstream of trees. ArborJet’s TREE-age product, when injected into healthy ash trees, provides two-year protection against the Emerald Ash Borer.
With periods of extreme cold come questions about the impact such temperatures may have on plant materials in the landscape. There are too many variables to be definitive as cold injury varies with plant species, age, general vigor of the plant, and site and soil characteristics. Still, it’s a good time to review potential damage to trees and shrubs, keeping in mind that much of the damage that may occur will not become apparent until spring when new growth begins. By then, many people will have forgotten about the Arctic Vortex, especially if it’s a mild spring, and may not relate plant damage visible in spring to the extreme events of this winter.
Before proceeding further about potential cold injury, there are some critical factors to consider. First, weather conditions this past fall played a part in how plants prepared for winter. In particular, trees & shrubs that have received adequate moisture in the weeks leading up to our first hard frost will be much less likely to suffer cold injury. On the other hand, when a warm period occurs prior to the onset of frigid weather, there is increased potential that physiological changes in plants could result in a reduced tolerance to cold temperature extremes. Remember back to Sunday December 22 when temperatures exceeded 60 degrees?.
One should also expect that native plant materials in their natural habitats will better tolerate these harsh conditions. The geographic range of native plants is determined by extreme temperatures and not by average temperatures. Having said that, native species planted in our urban / suburban landscapes, where soils and environmental factors are vastly different from their normal habitat, can experience cold injury due to stresses on the plants imposed by these “exotic” habitats.
Most woody ornamental species used in our northeast Ohio landscapes are non-native species. Hardiness ratings can help one determine the potential survivability of a species in our region of the U.S. However, hardiness zones are determined by average low temperatures for a given region of the country, and not by extreme low temperatures. As such, a species rated hardy to our region may not survive when exposed to extreme temperatures. Keep this in mind when assessing plant problems in the spring.
Snow cover is also an important factor, as it provides natural insulation that can help to protect root systems. Significant root kill will certainly affect the survivability of landscape plants. Soil by itself is a pretty good insulator and in most winters it provides adequate protection for roots. If low temperatures affect roots, it is the “feeder” roots, typically closest to the surface, that will be killed. he amount of damage will depend upon many factors, including the presence or absence of mulch. Snow cover provides an additional blanket of insulation, So, with this Arctic Vortex, in terms of our landscape trees & shrubs, the large snow accumulation is a blessing.
The roots of plants in above-ground planters or containers are much less protected, and as such are all subject to direct injury or death from the cold.
The amount of cold temperature injury to above ground plant parts is as unpredictable as is the amount of damage to roots. And as with roots, above ground injury will not usually become apparent until spring.
One type of cold injury that is most certain is the killing of flower buds on those trees & shrubs that are marginally hardy in our region. As an example, the flower buds of Forsythia and peaches are prone to winter kill when temperatures drop to minus 15º F, with variances based upon the variety of the plant species or “cultivar” and site factors.
Besides flower buds, the living xylem tissue or most recent annual rings, tend to be less tolerant of cold temperature extremes, particularly the xylem tissue in smaller branches. If damage occurs, affected branches will be slow to leaf and/or flower in spring, or they may die.
Evergreen trees and shrubs are at additional risk as they continue to evaporate moisture due to winter’s drying winds. Frozen soil prevents replacement of this water. “Winter Burn” describes a common injury that occurs on many broad & narrow-leafed evergreens. The results are brown or yellow, sometimes even dead taxus (yew), hollies, and rhododendrons the following spring.
Forest City Tree Protection offers a Winter Protection spray for these plants that can significantly reduce this moisture loss, thereby giving your shrubs and trees an edge against “winter injury.” One application of our winter protection spray in fall lasts through the entire winter, helping to maintain your evergreens’ natural color and protecting foliage from salt damage. For more information about this service contact us at 216-381-1700 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website: http://www.forestcitytree.com.
Just remember, this frigid Arctic Vortex weather and the possible kinds of damage that it could cause to plants should be kept in mind when evaluating plant growth or death come spring.
(I’ve adapted this post from an article written by Ron Kujawski of the University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension.)
When I saw this neat post (click link below), I realized I had actually seen all five species of trees in various parts of the world.
A short video about the unique ArborJet tree injection system that we use to protect ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer.
by Stephen Messenger, Science/Natural Sciences
August 24, 2013
© Doug Peabody
When the first European settlers stepped foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620, the landscape they encountered must have felt like the epitome of wildness. In time, of course, cottages and farmhouses, roads and footpaths would sprout up even there as ‘civilization’ took root. But little could they have guessed, from those fragile early shoots, that the whole wild continent would be tamed in just a few short centuries.
It may be hard to believe, however, but one of America’s earliest settlers is still alive today — and still bearing fruit after 383 years.
Among the first wave of immigrants to the New World was an English Puritan named John Endicott, who in 1629, arrived to serve as the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Charged with the task of establishing a welcoming setting for new arrivals upon the untamed land, the Pilgrim leader set about making the area around modern-day Salem as homey as possible.
In approximately 1630, as his children watched on, Endicott planted one of the first fruit trees to be cultivated in America: a pear sapling imported from across the Atlantic. He is said to have declared at the time: “I hope the tree will love the soil of the old world and no doubt when we have gone the tree will still be alive.”
The tree did outlive all witnesses to its planting — as well as generations and generations that followed.
© Danvers Library
By 1763, colonists noted that the tree, dubbed the Endicott pear tree, was already “very old” and showing signs of decay. But yet it persisted and continued to bear fruit. In 1809, the tree had such notoriety that even President John Adams is said to have received a special delivery of its pears.
After holding fast through three strong hurricanes which battered the region in the first half of the 19th century, the tree became a cherished fixture; a fence was even put up to protect it. As early as 1852, folks were already proclaiming Endicott’s pear tree as “probably the oldest cultivated fruit bearing tree in New England.”
For Arbor Day in 1890, poet Lucy Larcom composed about the old tree so long rooted in American history:
Such a wonder you may see;
For the patriarchal tree
Blossoms still, — the living thought
Of good Governor Endicott.
Fruit again this year to bear;
Honor to that brave old pear!
Through the 20th century, Endicott’s pear tree endured as the United States — the nation it predates by 146 years — continued to grow up around it. Through several more strong hurricanes, and even a vandal attack in the 1960s, the tree never stopped bearing fruit.
Although its pears have been described as “medium in size, unattractive, and coarse textured”, the tree’s shortcomings have been more than made up for by its resilience — a legacy that will carry on even after the sands of time eventually wither its branches. The USDA’s National Clonal Germplasm Repository, a seed bank, successfully produced a clone of Endicott’s pear tree.
There are few surviving remnants of those earliest days in American history, when European settlers arrived to the wild lands of the New World. But as their centuries-old headstones have weathered and crumbled with time, and their names and stories have become lost to the ages, it’s reassuring to know that history is rooted by more than human memory and fading ink — and that a living monument has been fruitful through it all.
Stephen Messenger, Writer / Porto Alegre, Brazil
Stephen is a freelance writer and linguist based in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He covers issues related to the environmental movement in South America, as well as to the political and social challenges of sustainable development in the region and throughout the world. Stephen’s work has appeared in numerous publications both online and in print, including the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo!, and the Huffington Post.