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Did I just kill my pear scions with freezing water?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 2
Location: PA
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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone might have any experience with a question that I can't seem to get answer to by searching the net.

I collected pear scion branches for my father-in-law yesterday.  Due to a lack of time I stored them outside in a bucket of water which completely froze overnight.  The low temp was 28 degrees Fahrenheit or -2.2 degrees Celsius.

Now I'm wondering if I might have damaged the scions by letting them suck up water which I fear might have frozen and damaged the tissue.  Could this be the case?

I'm thinking that (somehow) water absorbed through a trees roots is transformed into sap which has non-freezing properties.  I worry that by allowing the scions  to suck up regular tap water and then experience freezing temperatures might be  a bad thing.  I have no basis for this idea and am hoping that I'm completely wrong.  From what I've read about some plants the water is actually transfered to the outside of the cell where it can freeze without causing damage.  I'm not sure if I understand this properly though.

The scions in question are actually pear tree branches about four feet long with several years of growth on them.  I had planned on cutting them down to last years growth and storing them in the refrigerator in the next day or two.

I know that it's probably getting a little late to cut scions in Pennsylvania (Mid March) , but it's been pretty cold lately (below freezing at night) and I thought that I'd give grafting a try.

Thank you in advance for any replies.  I really appreciate your help.

Regards,
Tim
 
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Posts: 3465
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I expect that they'll be fine... 28F isn't all that cold for a branch that has already spent the winter outside, and filled itself with lots of anti-freeze.
 
garden master
Posts: 4770
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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They should be fine, like Joseph said, they should be full of antifreeze from the winter.
If you are worried you can always trim them when you are grafting so you have fresh wood for the graft junction.

Redhawk
 
Tim Mackson
Posts: 2
Location: PA
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Thank you for your replies Joseph and Bryant.  I really appreciate your time and expertise. 
I just couldn't seem to find anything related by searching on the Internet.  Sometimes having all of the worlds information at your fingertips is a bad thing.
Nothing can replace knowledgeable people with common experience and intuition.
Thank you again.
Regards,
Tim
 
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