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A killing frost, and a close call


It’s as though March and April got reversed this year. March was obscenely warm. April has been dangerously cold. The warmth of March teased all the plant life into venturing out, so that April’s frosts could bite. The fig trees had put out leaves, and all those leaves were killed. With luck, the fig trees’ stems didn’t freeze, and there will be new leaves.

Otherwise, we seem to have survived what probably will be the last frost of Spring 2016. The peach trees and pear trees already had bloomed and set fruit. They seem to be unharmed. The apple trees are in the late stages of blooming, but they seem to have survived just fine. Once again, I am reminded of the risks involved in exotic species (such as figs). Whereas the tried, true, and experienced local species pretty much know what they’re doing. Some people covered their lilacs. I trusted my lilac to know what it was doing, and luckily it seems fine.

The apple trees are looking great this year. The trees had their adolescent pruning two winters ago. That really reduced the number of bloom buds in the two subsequent springs. But this year the apple trees are looking nicely balanced, with lots of bloom buds. There will be fruit in the orchard this year, though the squirrels and raccoons are likely to get more of it than I do. Not until the trees produce more than the wildlife can eat is an orchard truly productive.


Above, a young pear.


Above, a young peach.


As for the chickens, they don’t mind the cold. They actually seem to do better in winter than in summer. Nothing is happier than a chicken — a chicken, at least, with freedom — in the spring.


  1. Jo wrote:

    The two apple trees planted in October are history – thanks to deer. Note to self: Buy fencing!

    Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 10:46 pm | Permalink
  2. Jo wrote:

    Not sure if Ken had a hand in planting these trees, but was reminded of him today. Linda Brinson wrote an excellent review of his new book in yesterday’s Greensboro News-Record. I also read Ken will be at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro
    at 4 PM on April 23rd.

    Monday, April 11, 2016 at 10:06 pm | Permalink
  3. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Jo… Yep … I’ll post something about Ken’s new book soon.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

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