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I've discovered a big problem with mini Kraters

 
pollinator
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We had a lot of snow and it still hasn't melted. This is rather unusual for us. So, I had started planting trees in the very bottom of the krater gardens. Our water situation pretty much requires it for them to work. Now the problem is a krater full of snow with a tree in the bottom. The tree has a collar but at this point it is useless. I think it's dead. :(
83945138_10157898536648633_4494753824396804096_n(1).jpg
mini krater with drift
mini krater with drift
85115035_10157898537028633_1252373894707281920_n.jpg
another angle
another angle
84122450_10157898536743633_3682157707189551104_n.jpg
peach tree poking out
peach tree poking out
83926977_10157898536888633_6862353244941713408_n.jpg
animal tunnel in the krater being uncovered by melting snow
animal tunnel in the krater being uncovered by melting snow
84191505_10157898537253633_1325257191912898560_n.jpg
dam snow collection
dam snow collection
 
master pollinator
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Elle, I wouldn't write it off just yet.  I've been surprised by trees before that I thought were dead.  I have a couple apples that I planted purposely in frost pockets, the hope being that they will bloom later and not get hit with a late frost that kills my apple crop for the year.  This may work the same way for you.

An easy way to tell if a young tree is dead, scratch a little of the bark off with your fingernail.  If there is a green layer, it's alive.  If it is just dried out and brown, it's dead.  Even then, I wouldn't write it off.  Some trees lose the portion about the ground and come back from below it.  If it's a grafted tree, it may grow back from the root stock.  If that's the case, you can just let it grow and see how it turns out, or graft it again.
 
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I wouldn’t worry too much. My Apple trees sit under 5-10ft of snow for a good 2 months of the year and seem to do fine. Snow is an incredible insulator and helps protect my trees from the cold temperatures. So long as they are braced from being snapped in half, snow is much better for them than the open air. As a bonus, the snow often keeps the trees dormant through warm snaps since it keeps the root zone cooler than the warm air.
 
elle sagenev
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Sorry, I'm more worried about what rabbits have done. Rabbits kill most of my trees, well them and ground squirrels. So all that snow is just a nightmare for me predator wise.
 
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That's not a problem. That's a bonus, for all the reasons Trace mentioned.

When it finally does warm up enough to melt the ice and cause the tree to come out of dormancy, it will also get a nice dose of water with it. While it doesn't guarantee that trees planted in kraters will stay dormant through early warm snaps, it definitely ups the odds.

If this is a problem, it's because you've planted the wrong thing in your ice traps, though if anything would benefit from a cold late start, it should be the fruit trees that have problems when it warms too early.

-CK
 
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Forgive me for being an oblivious woman originally from northern Canada.... what's wrong with snow around trees??? I always worry on snowless years that the ground will freeze and kill things, so hope there's snow to act as a nice fluffy blanket for my plants that keeps them dormant until the snow melts.

Why do you think they are dead?
 
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There are rodents that tunnel around under the snow in the subnivean zone, searching for things to munch on. Like tender fruit tree saplings. They can chew all around the circumference of the tree, consuming all the cambium that sends nutrients to the tree. This causes tree death. And sadness to the tree owner.
 
elle sagenev
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:There are rodents that tunnel around under the snow in the subnivean zone, searching for things to munch on. Like tender fruit tree saplings. They can chew all around the circumference of the tree, consuming all the cambium that sends nutrients to the tree. This causes tree death. And sadness to the tree owner.



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Yup. Why I'm upset. Plus the part sticking out of the snow is not protected from rabbits.
 
Chris Kott
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Sounds like a rabbit and rodent problem, not a snow or krater problem. Besides, while those are issues, they are only marginally more problematic than winter warm spells that cause trees to bud out and flower out of season, depleting energy stores needed for spring and killing the tree.

If I intend to keep each individual tree, with the pressure of rabbits, rodents, deer, and anything that might come around for a taste, I think I would look at trunk protection until they're a few years old. There are these transparent UV-resistant tree tubes that you can install that act as tree cloches. You keep them burlapped until it's time for them to come out of dormancy, and then uncover them, and they have their own greenhouse environment, that will also pull air up through the root zone from the surrounding soil and ambient air when it's warm enough through a chimney effect, pulling warmer, fresh air into the soil and into the grow environment.

-CK
 
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I use a piece of 2' hard plastic waterline (schedule 40)  Split it down the middle (the long way) then use duct tape to hold it around my young trees. Mice are the biggest problem here, although are wonderful new neighbor released 15 buck rabbits  (he says) on the hill.  
The duct tape wears out after a few years and as the tree grows it pushes them apart.
I haven't lost a fruit tree to predators yet.
 
Chris Kott
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Thomas, is he releasing the rabbits to hunt, or because he thinks he's doing a good thing?

And do you have a problem dealing with all that rabbit meat? So kind of him to stock your freezer like that...

-CK
 
thomas rubino
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That's a good question Chris.
He says, it was being nice to his grandchildren ... who got in over their heads with bunnys and their carefree ways...
So he took all their bucks away from them and released them up the mountain.

Now the thing is, this fellow is an avid hunter.  Even guides during Montana's hunting season...
We have a healthy population of cougars (the animal kind) :)  Seems bunny's might draw them in ???
Of course if you ask him .... oh no , he's just being a good grandpa...

Yes , we love rabbit , makes some of the best spaghetti sauce.  
No, we haven't consumed any.

I mean that's where Peter Rabbit came from (see my old post about Peter and the Buggsy rabbit.)
As soon as they raid the garden ... spaghetti for dinner !    




 
elle sagenev
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Chris Kott wrote:Sounds like a rabbit and rodent problem, not a snow or krater problem. Besides, while those are issues, they are only marginally more problematic than winter warm spells that cause trees to bud out and flower out of season, depleting energy stores needed for spring and killing the tree.

If I intend to keep each individual tree, with the pressure of rabbits, rodents, deer, and anything that might come around for a taste, I think I would look at trunk protection until they're a few years old. There are these transparent UV-resistant tree tubes that you can install that act as tree cloches. You keep them burlapped until it's time for them to come out of dormancy, and then uncover them, and they have their own greenhouse environment, that will also pull air up through the root zone from the surrounding soil and ambient air when it's warm enough through a chimney effect, pulling warmer, fresh air into the soil and into the grow environment.

-CK



I do have trunk covers on. But with the tree in the bottom of the krater and the top of it sticking out so invitingly to the bunnies, well the trunk cover isn't doing me a lot of good.
 
Catie George
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elle sagenev wrote:

Joylynn Hardesty wrote:There are rodents that tunnel around under the snow in the subnivean zone, searching for things to munch on. Like tender fruit tree saplings. They can chew all around the circumference of the tree, consuming all the cambium that sends nutrients to the tree. This causes tree death. And sadness to the tree owner.



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Yup. Why I'm upset. Plus the part sticking out of the snow is not protected from rabbits.



I've learned a new world - subnivean zone - the bottom of the snowpack, where things are about 0 degrees C, and rodents like to live. Wikipedia claims it stays like that all winter, but, as someone who lives/has lived somewhere with a 2 m frost depth - I think that's a bit wrong.  

I guess this thread just proves how regional gardening is - I've never once lost a tree to rodent damage, but have always lived places where a) there's a lot of safer alternatives to eat in the forest near by, and b) we have lots of coyotes or wolves to keep the rodent population down, and c) we have dogs to chase off rodents.

Thanks for the education! Hope your peach trees survive, Elle - those things are expensive!
 
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elle sagenev wrote:

I do have trunk covers on. But with the tree in the bottom of the krater and the top of it sticking out so invitingly to the bunnies, well the trunk cover isn't doing me a lot of good.

elle if the lower stem that was protected lives, there's a good chance the tree will put out new growth even if the bunnies kill the top. I was given several badly abused fruit trees from a friend. They're hanging in there despite the fact I've not been able to put them somewhere safe (it's on my list, but protected areas are a struggle). Two that I thought would have died before spring last year, made it through until fall. Please don't give up hope until you see what spring brings.

That said, if it is killed back to the central trunk, consider pulling off any flowers it's foolish enough to put out (hopefully it will only *try* to put out leaves), and consider doing so next year also. Some trees, when stressed, will do all within their power to reproduce before dyeing.
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