As I was driving to work today, I thought it kind of ironic that I needed to head deeper into western New York to escape the onslaught that old man winter is throwing at the majority of New England and the east coast. Yes, it was 13 degrees (F) with 35 mph winds when I went out to get some more wood for the fire. But what we were getting in pure cold and windchill, we lacked in snowfall. There was snow falling, but not anywhere near what they were getting a few hours to the east. I found it both a late Christmas gift (I hate shoveling snow) and problematic. So far this year we’ve have not had enough snow to really coat the ground.
If we get colder temperatures than we have now, they could prove to be an issue for tree and plant roots, as well as plants that are not really cold resistant. Damage to the roots and, in some cases, the above ground plant parts can affect the crop for next year. That said, all the trees and plants are VERY dormant right now, so they are at their peak resistance to cold damage. As well, although it is cold to the skin right now, it has not gotten anywhere near cold enough to cause any damage. But….we need snow to help insulate the plant roots from the cold as well as the inadvertent warming in early spring.
As I make my way from building to building today, I’ll think of how resilient plants are and the path they take in order to give us the delectable fruit we all know they can. Winter’s here for now, folks, but be sure that spring is just a few months away with strawberries, cherries and all that great Red Jacket Orchard fruit not too far behind. Hang in there!