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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:37 am 
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Location: Magnolia Springs, Al Zone 8b
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pokenei wrote:
After consecutive weeks with highs of -10s and lows of -20s (-30 at its lowest + windchill), there's finally a break. +2 high today. Talking in degrees Celsius.

I am pretty sure all leaves are fried, but seeing the leaves partially uncurl today gives a tiny bit of joy and false hope. Realistically, the best I'm hoping for is that my bamboos can partially releaf in June, but top kill is expected.


That is cold, good luck.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:38 pm 
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Location: Cambridge, MA
Ophiuchus wrote:
Temp got down to 20F and the pots still look dried out. My damage is done, so I'm going to water the foliage again to remove ice and shut off asap to give time to dry before temps drop again.
Only water when above 40 degrees Fahrenheit at mid-day.

It is really hard finding authoritative info on this topic, but when I searched a while ago the most frequent thing I found was that suggestion.
Colorado State University Extension - Fall and Winter Watering wrote:
Watering Guidelines

Water only when air temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night.

Plants receiving reflected heat from buildings, walls and fences are more subject to damage. The low angle of winter sun makes this more likely on south or west exposures. Windy sites result in faster drying of plants and require additional water.

Monitor weather conditions and water during extended dry periods without snow cover – one to two times per month.

Click here for full article.

From bamboocraft.net forums, this looks like why 40F might be the watering point - below that, and maybe the Bamboo won't use the water due to dormancy:
stevelau1911 wrote:
Bamboos don't need any light at all when the soil temperatures drop below 40F because they will move into dormancy so it is fine to cover them up. I wouldn't use burlap though because it doesn't hold in heat. Photosynthesis wouldn't happen anyways when it gets that cold so 100% darkness is OK.

The best way to tarp in zones 4-6 is to bend the culms down to the ground and put a plastic sheet over them. Pool liners, carpets, or even blankets should work too. Here's a better thread with more proven over-wintering techniques.

Click here for full thread.

IMHO the to-the-ground or plastic-wrap is too ugly for Bamboo visible from public walkways; after my recent experience with topkill I'm planning on doing something artistic with $5 8ft clear acrylic tubes and thick copper wire to hold the tubes upright with several culms next year, to see if that will let some culm's leaves survive the winter and lead to faster upsizing.

I already tried these tubes for training growth paths, and it turns out the 'boo happily branches out and grows leaves inside the tubes that seem super-healthy; I only took them off because the purpose of guiding growth was successful, but next year I'll put them on at half the culms and leave them there over the winter, probably putting some foam on the ends to air can get in and out but its velocity is limited. My thought is that if I can get them to survive one winter, maybe they will get hardy enough for the next one, or at least they will be around to fuel the next set of larger diameter shoots before dying.

This pic is before branch/leaf-out; I don't think I took a pic of after, but it was actually a cool effect, kinda looked like just a tube full of leaves. And when I took the tube off, the branches - which were already full length pointing up - spread out away from the main culm and now look normal.
Attachment:
Incense Bamboo 4 Weeks - Leaf out in clear tubes.jpg
Incense Bamboo 4 Weeks - Leaf out in clear tubes.jpg [ 192.2 KiB | Viewed 1410 times ]

Attachment:
clear-lithonia-lighting-ceiling-light-parts-tgt12cl8-r24-64_1000.jpg
clear-lithonia-lighting-ceiling-light-parts-tgt12cl8-r24-64_1000.jpg [ 14.94 KiB | Viewed 1410 times ]


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:41 pm 
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Location: Magnolia Springs, Al Zone 8b
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Good tip, thanks. I've learned my lesson to start the watering after the temp has risen to about 37F. I have watered everyday for 2 hours soaking the pots thoroughly. Most of my leaves are gone, but the culms still look healthy.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:14 pm 
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
danjcla wrote:
... I'm planning on doing something artistic with $5 8ft clear acrylic tubes[/url] and thick copper wire to hold the tubes upright with several culms next year, to see if that will let some culm's leaves survive the winter and lead to faster upsizing...

I know this is being discussed in two different threads, but I think you'll ultimately be disappointed by this. I suspect what you'll find is that if you do manage to get a good upsize one year, those culms will be too big to protect and they will topkill the following winter. Then you'll be back to the previous year (or two) in size, where the cycle repeats again (if you're lucky). This is how my Ph. nigra worked and it was so frustrating.

Plus you also have a year of bamboo covered in tubes and/or other types of plastic, which you will probably tire of (at least I did with tarps and plastic sheeting).

Your planting area is so small I doubt you will get thick enough growth for the plant to provide self-protection for some of its culms. Do you know where Franklin Street Park is? It's a small park between houses, and there's a decent bamboo grove there, at least there was a few years ago. Worth a look.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:52 pm 
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Did those of you in E TX, AL, MS etc get some low temps this week? It looked like Tampa would approach freezing.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:21 am 
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Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
Houston Hobby Airport saw two cold nights of 19 and 25 with a high in between of 37 degrees Fahrenheit. The first night was clear, with a wind of 10 to 15 mph. The second night had less wind with a few clouds. The National Weather Service said that this location had not been below 20 degrees since 12/22/1989, which was during the infamous catastrophic freeze in this area.

Houston Intercontinental Airport recorded 19 and 21 with a high of 39 degrees Fahrenheit in between. The last time they recorded a temperature this low was 1/8/1996, according to the National Weather Service. The cloud cover arrived later farther north.

Brazos County (USDA Zone 8b), northwest of Houston, saw temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the coldest temperatures they have seen since December 24th, 1989.

Where I live, temperatures were about 22 and 28 degrees, with more cloud cover on the second night. Last winter I got down to 22 and 25 degrees on consecutive nights (the only freezes I had that winter), but those temperature were preceded by weeks of extremely warm weather, so many plants were actively growing. This time, most plants were somewhat dormant. I think this will matter for a lot of subtropical plants, but not necessarily bamboo. Also, last winter had calm winds and clear skies on the second night, allowing for strong radiational cooling and frost damage.

In these temperature ranges, I prefer it when the winds stay fairly high. I have found radiational cooling to be the real killer with bamboos and other subtropicals. Of course, if one is in a large heat island, they might not want to have any wind. The wind that protected me this year also caused the coldest temperatures to penetrate into the heart of Houston's heat island.

I am still assessing the damage, but there is quite a bit of winter left.... :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:56 pm 
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We will of course be interested to learn how your plants handled this, hopefully no serious damage.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Location: Placerville California
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we had rain yesterday and then this am 25. Besides some cold nights in the low to mid 20's this winter its been quite mild at my 3000 ft perch in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Possible snow tomorrow but that is if the storm gets here fast enough to overrun the cold air in place. Should turn to rain by tomorrow evening. It has been now 3 winter's i believe since we have seen upper teens.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:16 pm 
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Location: Magnolia Springs, Al Zone 8b
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So I cut out the top kill culms yesterday and while I had the sawsall out, I cut the smaller culms out also. My plants are only 2 yrs old, so removal of 25% was not necessary. Overall I'd say the top kill was pretty light (approx 5% or less) and we had temps down to 20-25F for a solid week, but as Glen mentioned, there's a lot more winter to go.

Of all my Bambusa's, Graceful sustained the least amount of top kill. In fact, very little. I'm not sure if I did the right thing pruning this time of year, but I couldn't stand looking at the mess any longer and now my Boo looks great again, well considering the mass leaf burn which has pretty much dropped.

One plant that really took a transition is the Emerald. I had branches that were low to the ground and after pruning I gained the visual of beautiful culms, but lost my privacy.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:12 am 
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Glen, are stone fruit trees grown in your area? I'm wondering if their is a correlation between Phyllostachys species needs for a minimum number of cool nights and stone fruit's. You say the Phy don't do well there but based on what I've seen here I expect to grow them to near mature sizes and we are likely a bit milder in winter, but there is stone fruit ag here big time.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:12 am 
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Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
Generally, the Phyllostachys that do not grow well here tend to be the ones that are said to do the best in cooler climates. When I have researched the native ranges of Phyllostachys, it seems that those with a northerly natural distribution perform more poorly here.

Phyllostachys that are said to be distributed mostly south of the Yangtze River, and those from Taiwan, seem to grow quite well here (given correct soil, water, etc.).

Stone fruits are grown here, but mostly only "low chill" varieties, and not on a commercial scale. We are supposed to get about 450 chill hours per year here, but this is the average. In this climate, summers are consistent, but winters are extremely variable. Some years it barely freezes, and other years we have multiple hard freezes. When I lived farther north, in a 650 chill hour zone, it did seem that some species of Phyllostachys performed better, but my sample size is too small, and there are enough other variables that I can not draw any definite conclusions.

One of the things that makes this area different from the West Coast is that we can have a low of 20 degrees or 70 degrees almost any day of the winter. There is never any consistency. Our average daily low never drops below 40 degrees, and soil may stay above 65 degrees all winter. They say that warm temperatures during winter can even subtract effective chill hours that were previously accumulated, but I am not sure that all this is really well understood.

On the West Coast, if you have an average low of 35 degrees, you are more likely to be near this temperature on any given day. This lets you accumulate tons of chill hours, without having devastating freezes.

When it comes to stone and pome fruits, soil conditions and disease pressures are also major challenges here. If we could just combine your winter climate and soil with our summer conditions and rainfall...... :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:09 pm 
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Aside from Hawai'i, I've never lived somewhere the weather is so consistent, in Indiana winters we'd have temp spikes both ways, here it has been mostly 50-60 daytime, 35-40 nites for many weeks without exception - no 70's at all.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:47 am 
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I do enjoy having a fighting chance of seeing 80+ degrees on Christmas day, but it could always be followed by a 20 degree night :shock: .

During the summer, our climate is essentially like a moist tropical location, so many of the best adapted fruiting plants are tropicals...best adapted until that 20 degree night, that is. Many such plants were lost in TX this year.

In some ways, I think it would be worth living in CA just so one could grow some really good pluots, plumcots, etc. Of course, several of the very nice Bambusa species will naturalize here, growing to large sizes with no care whatsoever, and that is pretty nice as well. I guess everywhere has its positives and negatives :) .


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:35 pm 
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I'm in the same climate zone as Roy in Tampa but my Bambusa will never get the size of his with Tampa's warmer winters and ample rainfall.

But I am growing citrus, plum, apricot, apple, loquat, pineapple guava, kiwi, pecans, and almonds so there are indeed trade offs. Indiana summers mixed with these winters would be a nice mix.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:52 pm 
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Location: Placerville California
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I think for me up the hill the hardest part is it stays so damp in winter. Even after going a week without rain our dew points stay high. so it stays cool and damp. We have had more warm days this winter than normal yesterday was mid 60's but was 29 in the morning.
I very rarely have to water in winter unless we get the huge ridge like we had in December where it rained only once and then i only watered once.

a few off the borinda's seem to struggle. Papyifera mostly defoliates some shoots releaf but it shoots a lot ,and I'm on my second angustisimma . It doesn't seem to like the combo of hot dry summers followed by cool damp winters i don't think.

Boliniana and fungosa do great. Fungosa does drop quiet a bit but releafs.
Brad you gave me yulongshanensis i think if i recall correctly? The one that was struggling in the heat? it lost its last few leaves back in December but if i recall it goes dormant then re leafs out in spring?

i want to try other Borinda's as well albocera ,frigidum ,macclureana ,and utilis

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