From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Late Freeze in Christian County, KY

Life in Christian County, Kentucky... More About Trees and Plants...



Freeze damage to trees in Christian County, KYFreeze damaged trees are brown on the hillsides

Damage from the late freeze we suffered in Christian County over Easter weekend is quite apparent. As I drive here and there on the rural roads, I see many trees with brown foliage. The hills, which should be covered with various greens as the trees get their leaves, are an unhealthy mixture of green and brown.

The vast majority of the trees will recover and produce leaves, but it will take them a while to realize what has happened and what they must do. A column in the Kentucky New Era by our local county extension agent Kelly Jackson suggests mulching landscape trees to help them cope with the remaining stresses of the growing season.

Of more immediate economic significance, many fields of wheat were hurt by the frost. They look brown, but they may still produce some grain if the wheat head (still in the stem at the time of the freeze) was unhurt. Some fields have been mowed and baled for hay. Apparently the farmer determined that the wheat heads had suffered terminal damage from the freeze. Corn will probably be planted in the wheat fields that have been mowed.

A Mennonite neighbor who grows tomatoes commercially had 1500 tomato plants that perished in the cold temperatures. That's quite a setback for him, particularly since he grew the original plants in his greenhouses. He'll probably have to purchase plants in order to replant in a timely manner. I hope he can find them at a reasonable price.

Our friends Jim and Jan Bravard at the Bravard Winery say that the cold snap has cut their grape production for the year by about 50%. The growing tips of the vines were killed, but new growth will occur and it will bear fruit.

Spring continues despite late freeze Spring growth seen at Pennyrile State Forest today


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2 comments:

Larry said...

We had similar freezes here in Missouri, Genevieve, with similar results. This is one of the worst late freezes I've ever seen.

Genevieve said...

Sorry to hear it, Larry. It looks like the farmers who mowed and baled their wheat were wise. A lot of the wheat that was left standing looks like it is slowly wilting down to the ground.

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