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Ice Storm Doom

Posted by Nathaniel Bouman 
Ice Storm Doom
October 27, 2016 02:29PM
Hey Everyone,

I hope the weather is better elsewhere because we just got hit by an ice storm. My two year old trees (freestanding on B.118) still had leaves on them and they got hammered. Some varieties faired better than others, but its pretty devastating, especially since things had been going so well. I went out in the sleet and shook ice off the trees, but that's about all I can do right now.
My questions are about recovery for a tree that is either blown over or blown to 45 degrees. Many of the trees which were at 45 degrees before I shook them sprung back to something close to straight. Can I cross my fingers about these trees and concentrate my efforts on ones that are worse off? Are the trees that were completely blown over not worth the effort to try to save? If they are worth it, what should I do?

Nat Bouman
Growing cider varieties in Zone 5b
On B.118 at 18X24
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
Re: Ice Storm Doom
October 27, 2016 07:34PM
I wouldn't give up on any of them. Get them straightened out and stake them before winter if you can. Good luck

Pat
Re: Ice Storm Doom
November 03, 2016 07:57AM
Thanks Pat. It wasn't as bad as I first thought. Most of the trees righted themselves. There were about 22 that I staked up to straight. I guess I'll see how they did in the spring.

Nat Bouman
Growing cider varieties in Zone 5b
On B.118 at 18X24
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
Re: Ice Storm Doom
November 03, 2016 11:51AM
Good, I hope they all make it thru.

Pat
Re: Ice Storm Doom
November 27, 2016 12:08PM
Hi Nat,

Sounds like you got the staking going. Good work

Echo on Pat's recommendation for the staking. Get them gently straighten out, stake them, assess the further damage, prune as needed, and things should be ok. If your trees were healthy going into this ice storm, they should be able to pull through this. If any fruit tree is tough, it is an apple tree! You may need to pay extra attention to building (rebuilding) wood this next season, and strategic fertilization with organic nitrogen sources may be helpful to consider.

I know it is hard to reach for a camera when you are feeling so gut punched by an event such as this one. Did you by chance take any photos to share with the group here?

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
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