Miscellaneous Woodlanders

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Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

cohan wrote:

Good to know--means it might at least survive part of september here ;)
seriously, of course, you never know--many things survive where you don't expect it--just look at Lori's garden  ;D and of course, I don't know how cold it gets where these come from

Still awake Cohan :o I have just started my new day ;D

What I mean is, if it takes that freezing it surely takes more. The mechanism for tolerating freezing certainly works in that species and the difference - for a plant - between say - 16 and - 30 isn't as big as between 0 and - 16. When the worst of winter strikes your plants are covered in snow I suppose?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

cohan
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I was still up--my time is one hour earlier than forum time, so it wasn't even 1 o'clock here :)

Wrightman's has an article on hardiness,
http://www.wrightmanalpines.com/article_6.asp
in which they say:
"Most of the plants we offer are hardy into very cold winter climates (lows of -30°C). Very few plants survive in places where temperatures dip below -40°C as there is an actual physical change in the water molecule below this level and only a few genera have developed the special adaptations needed to survive. Very few customers live in those regions, so it is not a condition we have to consider. "
Statements I find slightly objectionable  ;D since, in fact, there are many plants living here, thank-you! and quite a few people too, however, maybe not many folks in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba etc ordering from Wrightman's....
We don't get many days below -40, it probably has not happened this year, or just barely, we were definitely at -38/-39 at least, a couple of times..however, plants for long term survival here should be able to take it!

Our snow cover is variable, more than Lori, but this is still a relatively dry climate; Usually we have snow before we get -40, but its not at all impossible for some spots (usually under trees, but could happen on a sunny exposed rock garden slope) to be bare in late winter cold spells-bare patches can appear in Feb, even though it wont be all gone for a long time after that, and we just had -38 in March;
Its also highly possible to get -30 any time from late October to December, before the snow cover is established; this year the snow came in mid Nov and has not left, but mid-Dec or later is common for lasting snow.... weeks of nightly frost, many lows to -10 and at least -20 will occur before we have any lasting snow..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

OK, both dry and cold then!
I recently read that some plants could tolerate -80oC when exposed to low nonfreezing temps in fall! Can't remember which plants but that is much colder than any plants on Earth grow anyway.
I think the coldest temp measured in Norway this winter was almost -50 in December - but that was in the far north! .... and they have lots of nice plants too up there ;D

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

cohan
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Hoy wrote:

OK, both dry and cold then!
I recently read that some plants could tolerate -80oC when exposed to low nonfreezing temps in fall! Can't remember which plants but that is much colder than any plants on Earth grow anyway.
I think the coldest temp measured in Norway this winter was almost -50 in December - but that was in the far north! .... and they have lots of nice plants too up there ;D

There is a danger for plants which are exposed --sometimes things like native Pyrolas may be exposed in late winter/early spring when the ground is still solidly frozen, and there can be damage to foliage.. of course they recover later, but things like Ledum (wild) don't look as good here as they do in places where snow is reliably deeper (farther west)..
Luckily,most of my yard and gardens present and future is the kind of area that holds snow longer, so most plants wont be exposed too early... fall/early winter is always a question, though....
The comment about the right fall temperatures setting up winter survival are worth noting--2009 we had a very warm fall, then suddenly very cold--it was very hard on plants that normally survive easily here...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Hmm, I know that the conventional wisdom says that snow cover is pretty well essential for wintering-over plants and that a lack of snow cover means certain death, but we normally do not have continuous or blanketing snow cover here (the last 3 winters being an exception in the last 14 years)... and on top of that, there are also chinook conditions that can raise the temperature by 30 degrees C in 12 hours.  Yet it seems like a really pretty good place to grow perennials  nonetheless (admittedly not near so good for woody species).  
I dunno... I haven't seen much reason to put a lot of faith in the conventional wisdom in general when it comes to gardening.   :)

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

I'm sure it depends a lot on what plant it is, and lots of other hardiness/cultivation factors! Snow cover, like many other things, being a factor some plants appreciate, some don't some couldn't care less :)
I don't know much about garden wisdom, conventional or other wise, but I have clearly seen the impact on some native species, as I mentioned above, of varying snow cover--some of the native evergreen woodland species, such as Pyrolas, are clearly damaged when  they are exposed by early melting in Feb, etc, followed, inevitably by deep cold (no doubt wind and sun exposure come into play in this as well, though of course those are components of the bareness to start with!)...their brethren in spots that do not melt early do not suffer the same foliar damage...

I also see a big difference between Ledum here--where it grows commonly in moist woods--versus plants in the foothills and mountains in spots which I presume to have a heavier snowfall (wetter in general, but the places they grow here stay quite moist all year, here, so I don't think its just a moisture issue) plants farther west are much taller, with much healthier looking foliage, our plants often seem to have winter damaged foliage, and don't grow as high, since snow cover is not usually that deep --note 'think' and 'presume' I certainly don't claim to have done scientific study on this subject  ;D and there could be some other factor affecting them, unrelated to snow depth!

Both these examples refer to evergreen plants, and woody in the second case, so this doesn't necessarily disagree with Lori's observations...

Also my climate does have some significant if subtle  differences from Lori's a little less dry in general, less frequent and less dramatic winter warming episodes, and more/lasting snow.. On my property, these differences are enhanced by forest on two sides, and tree windbreaks on the other two, with a break (driveway!)  on one corner--,meaning, this is not a bad place for woodies, in general  ;D Other than that, I have no idea yet of the success of alpine and dryland plants in general, here, let alone some of the exotic stuff Lori is growing  ;D

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

I just picked up a Ypsilandra thibetica at the WWSW last week.  We'll see how it does in Newfoundland where dry summers are not the norm!  I have Heloniopsis orientalis in a peaty site.  It blooms in late April.

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Really nice plant, Todd! Good luck with the Ypsilandra--sounds like it should be a good fit for your climate..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

Todd, Heloniopsis orientalis is a plant I have tried to acquire for years. I have sowed seed several times - no germination :-[ and you never find it in the nurseries here.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

AmyO
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-06

One of my many treasures from Plant Delights is a Paris polyphylla....I've never grown this before so does anyone have experience with it and can pass along any tips for getting it to thrive? I garden on a lake & streamside under large pines & hemlocks over ledge. I've got Trillium doing quite well and they grow wild all around here.  :)

Amy Olmsted
Hubbardton, VT, Zone 4

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