Massacre of the Apricot Blossoms; an annual event

Santa Fe, NM

Here are the documentary photos of our early morning snow storm 3/27/09! Note the clematis shelter. It covers Barbara Herrington, I hope. I haven't checked to see how anything did because it is too cold.

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

There are similar shelters for Jackmani and Mr. Rooguchi , who was looking so cute. Ah, well.

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

Now, on to the apricots! This was taken from a window around 8:30 a.m.

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

Now, some better pictures. Let's hope.

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

I hadn't had my coffee yet.

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

How the looked the day before! Actually, a few days before. We can remember them that way.

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

Here are some refugees in the house. Not apricots, though. Also, not very tidy, I'm afraid.

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

More refugees camped in my bathroom!

Thumbnail by roybird
Santa Fe, NM

Good-by, Apricot blossoms! Also, good-by currant blossoms. Dang!

Thumbnail by roybird
Reno, NV

Oh Roybird that's awefull. Makes me cringe in sympathy.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

That is so sad for the apricot blossoms but that luvly snow will bring much needed moisture to the mama tree. That is a very prettiful colour combo of dutch hyacinths. I am going to put some in next fall although they don't like it here. I'm hoping they will like the stepdown bed.

Santa Fe, NM

The death of the fruit blossom is fairly common here. We have not had a good apricot year in about 4 years. We do need the moisture. Usually March is our biggest snow month and this year it was especially warm and dry. I have seen it snow here on the 4th of July. But it didn't stick! I'm expecting the tulips to survive this and maybe some of the hyacinths.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I like the tiles in your bathroom roybird. Did you paint those yourself? The close ups of the apricot flowers are very pretty even though it is sad. Last year was a great year for peaches on my old tree. The devil spawn took care of those unfortunately. We hung vials of fox urine next to some of them but that only succeeded in keeping me away.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I used to have an Apricot tree. We got a full crop one year. Processed the whole lot of them over 2 weeks. I was a bit relieved when we lost the blossoms the next year. It took us 3 years to go through all the Apricot jam we made and we gave away over half of it. By then I was ready for more. Sorry you lost yours roybird.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

beautiful photos roybird.

wonder if vials of fox urine would keep blossoms warm in snow.

well probably not.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

(Unsure of whether to ask, then bravely deciding to do so) Do you keep vials of fox urine Kyla?

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Why, no, I was simply struck by the poetry of the phrase in plutodrive's post. It is plutodrive who has direct experience with vials of fox urine, not I.

;-)

LOL!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Ahh, I missed that. The next question is still appropriate, although, directed now to plutodrive. How does one obtain fox urine?

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

lol... Poetry? Me?

You need to tickle them dparsons.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

I was thinking, have a keg party and invite a bunch of foxes......

Plutodrive, everyone speaks poetry, it's just a matter of recognizing it.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Hey, Roybird, I j ust ran across this idea:


"You guys ever hear that if u get a frost after fruit tree blooms, you can hose it down the next morning and they'll be ok? We actually tried this once with our pear trees & had a bumper crop!!"

Seems I have heard of that before...... but it may be too cold to get out there with a hose!

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

LoL, plutodrive. Perhaps you could make a video of the proper technique. I've had a hard enough time tickling my cats correctly. Not that I've been trying to get urine from them, but I think that would only complicate matters.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I wouldn't even recommend tickling a cat. Kyla's idea would be more safe. My SIL found it at a nursery I dragged her to. I wouldn't bother with it again. The Spawns of Satan know how to hold their breath.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

Ahh, the same thing takes out the pear crop most years here! Except it's in May, not March... think about that, ugghh.

I feel your pain. Springtime brings me the most frustration. I must learn to deal with the anxiety. ohmmm breathe ohmmm

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Ugh is right. Some garden quote I read recently was all "Be patient" with its advice. Easy for Quote to say, once they're dead and all, not so easy for us tho.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I water when it h*a*i*l*s. It does keep the plants from burning from the ice and keeps the ice from forming a sheet in the bed. You have to wear a box over your head though so you don't get cut.

Santa Fe, NM

We did water before this storm came in. I think that spraying has to be done every day, if the temperature goes below freezing. Frankly, the water is worth more than the apricots. Dparsons, we are catching up on our back log of preserved apricot stuff. We may be at the end of it soon, though. Some years we don't mind losing the apricots! We also had cherries coming, but I have not even looked! Things are melting today but going to be very cold at night for eternity. That's what it seems like. I guess I will have to uncover the clematis during the day tomorrow so they can get some sun and then cover them back up at night. I really don't like that dance, though.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

no fun.

but it might be that the photos of the apricot blossoms in snow are actually worth more than a backlog of apricot preserves....... because they sure are lovely. ;-)

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Nice photos but they make me cringe.

Santa Fe, NM

The New Mexican newspaper said fruit crops were not hurt because fruit trees don't bloom until April. Just so you know. The cherries and such will be o.k. this time.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

I've never had plants "burned" from hail, only pureed.

Santa Fe, NM

"Burned" is like a freezer burn, I think. Checked my clematis and uncovered it for a day of sunshine today. It looks fine. Roses are o.k. Daffodils, apricots, forsythia blooms all done for. Some hyacinths are bouncing back and tulips, flowers not open, are fine.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Hey, Roybird, that's good news about your clematis!

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

When I was choosing the fruit tree to go in the one available space in my back yard I agonized over what type to get. I finally settled on a dwarf pie cherry, partly because they bloom later than most other fruits trees so they are less likely to freeze. The plums and sweet cherries in the neighborhood are starting to bloom but it's going to be cold here tonight. It's already down to 34 in our back yard and there's an unpleasant wind out of the north.

If you're planning to plant any new fruit trees I would recommend the pie cherry for reliable performance. We have already had a nice crop off it and it's just barely three years old. I expect more this summer. And if you get tired of picking them the birds are more than happy to help.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

Yeah, I know the reference was to something like "freezer burn" from hail, but I've never seen it. I live in Hail Alley (NW Calgary), where our frequent summer hails either puree the entire yard (once, and less likely now that the trees have grown up), or melt within a few hours or the next day with no particular damage to the plants, other than a few holes in large leaves. So I won't be running around with the garden hose and a bike helmet... no matter how much the neighbors might enjoy seeing it, LOL!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I would really like to see Dahlianut spraying her plants with the hose while wearing a box on her head! Sounds like a really worthy photo. Roybird, you need to fly up to Calgary to get the shot!

Roybird, your documentation of the annual death of the fruit blossom is impressive and poignant. I almost always get a medium sized crop of apricots even in bad years, but it looks unlikely fo rthis year.

Santa Fe, NM

Well, speaking of pie cherries...ours are slow to blossom as Katlian pointed out. We also have some old plums which are dying. I think they are green gage and one younger one. They bloom later. It is those 'cots that give us fits. When they do have a good year they are heavy producers. Thanks for the sympathy and nice comments.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Even though Penny and I are at approximately the same altitude, our freeze situation for fruit is quite different. We are on the side of a series of canyons with 400 ft. dropoffs on each side. From there the canyon bottoms drop still further to the Rio Grand about 15 miles away. Cold air falls so our cold drops down to the Rio Grand valley and our apricots don't freeze as often as those in Santa Fe which is much lower than the mountains to its east.
However the weather patterns this year made our apricot bloom more than a week early and for the first time since it started bearing we don't seem to have a crop. The blossoms are very brown. Nothing else has bloomed yet and my trees are too young for me to know anything except that the Peach has never been nipped in several years. The plum and pears are just starting and the apples are quite young also. The crab apples and the quince are also just starting.
But I think the unseasonably warm weather followed by a very hard freeze was felt all over the west as far as I can tell.

Reno, NV

I am just so done with the cold this year. If it's not going to storm, at this point I don't want it.

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