Friday, May 17, 2013

Bud damage in Pennsylvania

Kathy Demchak, Extension Specialst at Penn State University, sent me these photos. At their research farm in College Station, they experienced temperatures at canopy height 24-27F on the night of  May 14-15. These are images from Illini Hardy.
Figure 1. Illini Hardy shoot, flower buds show no visible damage. Photo KD, PSU. 

Figure 2. Same shoot with buds cut open, with darkened tissue in buds.  Photo KD, PSU.
We saw the same thing occur last year (2012) in April. We had a wide range of damage in NC last year and some growers lost more of their crop than others.

See my blog post for a discussion of what I recommended.

Note: Although the name, Illini Hardy, would suggest this variety would be less susceptible to freeze injury, these photos indicate that buds of Illini Hardy are just as susceptible to damage as the Arkansas cultivars that we grow in NC. However, Illini Hardy dormant plants can tolerate lower temperatures than other blackberry varieties in the winter and is therefore grown in regions normally not considered suitable for blackberry production. It is not recommended for North Carolina.

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