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Florida Gardener
02-04-2011, 05:03 PM
I know march is prob the safest bet. However with our unusual feb warm weather, anyone starting cutbacks in feb?
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rob7233
02-04-2011, 07:41 PM
This year has been off the charts crazy. Depending on your scheduling and workload, I wouldn't start any earlier than after Valentine's Day. However, after March 1st would put you in the clear in my area (9B). New growth here can already be seen.

South Florida Lawns
02-04-2011, 09:17 PM
New growth here can already be seen.

Yeah the Raphiolepis indica are about to blow up, so many buds right now.

Florida Gardener
02-04-2011, 09:40 PM
Yeah the Raphiolepis indica are about to blow up, so many buds right now.

Nice use of scientific name!!! Yea, all of our damaged stuff has new growth already.
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Florida Gardener
02-04-2011, 10:07 PM
Yeah the Raphiolepis indica are about to blow up, so many buds right now.

Nice use of scientific name!!! Yea, all of our damaged stuff has new growth already.
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Ric
02-05-2011, 12:52 AM
Diamond

A few Years ago I arrived at a spray customers house to find him trimming back Cold damage before our no freeze date. I tried my best to explain Why not to trim now. His answer was yes but the Boss (wife) ordered it and I like my happy home.

Point here is sometimes you got to go with the flow and hope for the best. I believe you are on the Treasure Coast and depending on how far inland might get away with trimming now. The Gulf stream effects your weather and I want to believe I would freeze long before you would.

Florida Gardener
02-05-2011, 12:56 AM
Ric I am below the treasure coast. I would normally wait until March, but we have now had 4 days with highs at or above 80. The stuff that was damagedhas had new growth about 2 weeks ago. The only reason I am hesitant is that the weather has been wacky and who knows, we get an unexpected freeze or frost....
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Ric
02-05-2011, 01:40 AM
Ric I am below the treasure coast. I would normally wait until March, but we have now had 4 days with highs at or above 80. The stuff that was damagedhas had new growth about 2 weeks ago. The only reason I am hesitant is that the weather has been wacky and who knows, we get an unexpected freeze or frost....
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Diamond 176817

It is your call. My point was sometimes we have to break Protocol to keep a customer happy. I admit there have been times I sprayed straight Water and billed a customer JUST TO KEEP THEM HAPPY. BTW I learned that trick from Steve Brown a county extension agent who recommended it on one of my accounts. Understand he wasn't trying to rip the customer and I wasn't either.

Florida Gardener
02-05-2011, 05:45 PM
Ric it isn't a matter of customers questioning it, I just want to get ornamentals to start looking good again....I understand what you are saying though....
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melvern
02-06-2011, 02:51 PM
I'm in Jupiter & I've started cutting some, especially the plants that hold their dead leaves & look esp. hideous - Mammey crotons, cocoplum, Petite Ixora...

The variation in damage is amazing. On one property, there is a cocoplum hedge that is fine on one side & the other side looks like someone took a blow torch to it. I think sprinklers going on may have exacerbated the damage, which I find kind of surprising since it barely got below freezing here.

Has is gotten to the point where anyone is re-thinking the plant material they will use going forward? When I first moved here, I checked the historical weather data on freezes. In the 80's there had been 12 in W. Palm Beach (it even snowed in Miami once), but for '90 - '97 there had been -0-. I wonder if were are going into a new colder cycle...

Ric
02-06-2011, 04:21 PM
I'm in Jupiter & I've started cutting some, especially the plants that hold their dead leaves & look esp. hideous - Mammey crotons, cocoplum, Petite Ixora...

The variation in damage is amazing. On one property, there is a cocoplum hedge that is fine on one side & the other side looks like someone took a blow torch to it. I think sprinklers going on may have exacerbated the damage, which I find kind of surprising since it barely got below freezing here.

Has is gotten to the point where anyone is re-thinking the plant material they will use going forward? When I first moved here, I checked the historical weather data on freezes. In the 80's there had been 12 in W. Palm Beach (it even snowed in Miami once), but for '90 - '97 there had been -0-. I wonder if were are going into a new colder cycle...

Melvern

You bring up an excellent point

Yes X mas of 1988 Miami had Frozen pipes. I know because My Sister in Law's house had exposed PVC pipe that I thawed out with her hair drier.

Over the years we have had a few winter blasts. When I lived in Boca Grande we had a super warm winter (1994 or 95??) and everything flushed. The last week of Feb and first week of March we had 3 freezes a few days a part on a Tropical Island mimi climate. Needless to say it took two years to recover.

My area has had 3 years running with Freezes. I personally lost struggling Mango trees in the second year of freezes. After 3 years in a row it is time to rethink more cold hardy plants. However the Market is still demanding Tropical Disneyland in my area.

I am now semi retired but I did have a nursery blown away by Hurricane Charlie. Freeze protection started by moving tender vegetation into shady houses covered each winter with Visqueen. But I would run my sprinklers heavy all day long before the expected freeze. I would then turn them off at night fall and hope for the best. Water holds heat and the heavy water on the ground helped to keep my stock from freezing. I was luck and did not lose very much to freezes.

As for your spotty freeze damage. The direction and speed of the wind is what cause that. If you look close you can see a Patten on which side of the house etc was up wind (little damage) or down wind (more damage). No wind will freeze or frost quicker.

Florida Gardener
02-06-2011, 05:23 PM
Melvern what is your company name??
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rob7233
02-08-2011, 10:26 PM
The variation in damage is amazing. On one property, there is a cocoplum hedge that is fine on one side & the other side looks like someone took a blow torch to it. I think sprinklers going on may have exacerbated the damage, which I find kind of surprising since it barely got below freezing here.

As for your spotty freeze damage. The direction and speed of the wind is what cause that. If you look close you can see a Patten on which side of the house etc was up wind (little damage) or down wind (more damage). No wind will freeze or frost quicker.

Sometimes we don't have enough appreciation for the effects or influences of microclimates both good and bad.

Patriot Services
02-10-2011, 05:49 PM
Holy crap. 40 degree temperature range to day from north to south. Next we'll have 3 Florida subforums.
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Florida Gardener
02-10-2011, 08:22 PM
Yea, we had 83 today and some nice summer err I mean winter rain
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Plantculture
02-11-2011, 09:48 AM
What and why exactly is a cutback on an ornamental? And why is 1 time of year better than another?

Patriot Services
02-11-2011, 10:08 AM
What and why exactly is a cutback on an ornamental? And why is 1 time of year better than another?

If you cut off frost damaged material and you get another frost you just removed the plants natural attempt to protect itself. If you continue to cutback after every freeze you will have nothing left come spring.
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Plantculture
02-11-2011, 11:09 AM
Ahh got it, I didn't know if the OP was referring to butchering the landscape in the beginning of the summer which happens quite frequently in south FL.
I'm starting to see quite abit of new growth on shrubs. Especially hibiscus. Thats my sign to start whatever selective pruning to shape the plants. I typically try not to remove a cold damaged palm leaf until the petiole turns brown, but thats not always possible.

Florida Gardener
02-12-2011, 08:04 AM
I have been pruning and shaping hibiscus this week along with copperleaf,etc. I'm only taking of fronds that are brown AND falling off. If it is brown and in place, it is going to stay on the palm until it falls or until March, whichever comes first. I really don't think we are going to get any more real cold weather. From next Tues onward, we have 76-79 highs and 58+ lows. Everything is getting fertilized next week. My healthy yards have already been lush and vibrant since 3 weeks ago. It will be crucial to fert the heavily cold damaged palms for the entire year to get them back to health and hope that we don't get so many freezes next winter. I have a property with 2 very mature coconuts that took all last year to look DECENT only to get hit again with freezes this winter. Hopefully they make it as they were treated with a copper fungicide.

Patriot Services
02-13-2011, 07:29 AM
Glad I didn't get overzealous with cutbacks. Woke up to some frost this morning.
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zturncutter
02-13-2011, 08:17 AM
34 degree low with frost here as well.

Ric
02-13-2011, 09:48 AM
34 degree low with frost here as well.

Z turn

It warmed up now to a toasty 52 at my house about 8 miles from you. This is our 3rd winter in a row to have freezes, but I honestly believe this is the coldest winter I remember in Florida. January normal night time temperature is 55 degrees. Our average day time high in January is 75 degrees. I am using January because it is the coldest month of the year.

I realize we are not the only people feeling the bad winter. The whole nation is having a bad winter. I think we in South Florida just aren't as prepared for it.

zturncutter
02-13-2011, 11:37 AM
It didn't stay down there very long and we had high cirrus earlier in the night that kept it from falling to quick.
That is one of the things I like about Florida though, the extremes in weather. Except for the occassional eye wall hits from major hurricanes that is.

Landscape Poet
02-13-2011, 06:24 PM
Cold tonight but back to 70's for the start of the week and then ending up in the low 80s. All hell is about to break lose I bet.

Florida Gardener
02-17-2011, 10:03 AM
Well I guess we have officially hit spring. Our 10 day forecast calls for highs no lower than 77 and mainly around 80. What a short winter. The one plus I can see is people doing stuff earlier than last year.
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Tri-City Outdoors
02-17-2011, 03:57 PM
Yep we are getting it early this year I see new growth all over. We just begun our spring clean ups.

Landscape Poet
02-17-2011, 07:54 PM
The viburnum has gotten a crazy growth spurt the last two weeks or so and flowering really well. The turf is hit and miss. Everything is coming back but the dwarfs SA seem to be a little more patchy still. Some of them almost look like a dalmatian lawn. Just little circles of green inbetween the brown.