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Delaying blooming

 
Posts: 9
Location: Arizona
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Im in central Az in the high Desert the temps often bounce from 60s to freezing and most years we don't get peaches due to frost. I have been thinking about pilling snow round some of my peach trees the next time it snows to help keeping them cooler longer after it snows would this work? I have also read that you can paint the trunks white to help delay blooming but I don't know how well it works and I hate the way it looks. Anyone have any ideas ?? TIA
 
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Location: Campton, New Hampshire
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Leah miller wrote:Im in central Az in the high Desert the temps often bounce from 60s to freezing and most years we don't get peaches due to frost. I have been thinking about pilling snow round some of my peach trees the next time it snows to help keeping them cooler longer after it snows would this work? I have also read that you can paint the trunks white to help delay blooming but I don't know how well it works and I hate the way it looks. Anyone have any ideas ?? TIA



In Peter Bane's book "The Permaculture Handbook" he does mention piling snow at the base of the tree. Supposedly this works because soil temperature is one of the primary variables influencing when flowers bloom. Snow around here is rarer than hens' teeth so I have no idea if it actually works. Would love to hear if you have any success with it since my SO and I are planning to move to New England next year. He also suggests that you might consider planting tree species prone to this problem on the north side of your house. Ideally just far enough away that most of the canopy is in sun while the base is still in the shade until after the danger of frost has passed. Won't do you much good with your existing trees, though.
 
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I am also in central AZ and I am planing on grafting on later blooming varieties of apples to see if that helps get more flowers past the frost.
 
pollinator
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Location: Porter, Indiana
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Leah miller wrote:I have also read that you can paint the trunks white to help delay blooming but I don't know how well it works and I hate the way it looks. Anyone have any ideas ?? TIA



I thought the white paint was mainly to reduce sun scald. Piling up snow sounds like a good idea to help keep the soil temperature lower for longer. You might find this article interesting.
 
Leah miller
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Location: Arizona
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The idea of painting the trunks is to reflect light and heat but IMO it is ulgy. They paint the trunks of citrus trees in the valley to reflect light and protect the tress from burning. I'm going to try grafting the intrepid peach to see how it does according to grower "Tree blooms late to avoid spring frost zaps and can withstand freezing temperatures at half- to full-bloom with minimal damage. Also disease-resistant to bacterial leaf spot. Freestone. Ripens in mid August. Self-pollinating." Clinton I plant the later blooming apples and my husband who has been here his whole life says that were almost guaranteed an apple crop. Thanks for the article John. If it snows again I will try the piles and report if it works.
 
Posts: 19
Location: Northern Arizona, 7300'
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Clinton Caffrey wrote:I am also in central AZ and I am planing on grafting on later blooming varieties of apples to see if that helps get more flowers past the frost.



Which varieties of apples do you plan on using? I'm finding it difficult to find information on when trees actually bloom. I'm planning on making an order from St Lawrence nursery soon.
I'm in AZ too, at 7300'. Would love to try the snow idea, if we get any more snow, and if the snow actually sticks around.
 
steward
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Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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Reading that white paper, it indicates that it is root zone temperature which will affect bud break and bloom the most. That means the snow pile method would work on the root zone and not just up against the trunk. If you get snow, you probably want to insulate it from the weather to reduce it's melt rate. The best method I can think of to do that is to just use a good covering of straw or sawdust, like they used to do in the old ice houses to keep ice through the summer. Admittedly they started with ice, but I'm figuring that would translate to snow fairly well. I'm going to try that with my little orchard and see what we get. I have a couple of trees that are the same as the ones nearby, one gets a good straw covering and the other just gets the usual.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2438
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Ah. I think my painted trees are beautiful!!!
growing-fast.jpg
[Thumbnail for growing-fast.jpg]
 
Posts: 121
Location: Council, ID
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in the same vein, maybe you could try mulching heavily when the ground is coldest?
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