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Old 01-26-2019, 12:02 PM   #1
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Super Cold Coming. Need Help.


I bought a japanese maple and planted it last spring. I put up a burlap wind break around it for the winter, and in my growing zone, that would normally be enough. But now SE Michigan is looking at -45F coming soon. That kind of cold killed my last japanese maple. How do I stop it from happening again?

I was thinking about wrapping the wind break with plastic film on the top and sides and putting a drop light with a 100W bulb inside. Will that do any good?

Many thanks for your help, PW
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Old 01-26-2019, 12:07 PM   #2
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Re: Super Cold Coming. Need Help.


-45 is tough.



There are some off the shelf radiant barriers out there as well that would reflect the heat inward.



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Old 01-26-2019, 04:05 PM   #3
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Re: Super Cold Coming. Need Help.


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I was thinking about wrapping the wind break with plastic film on the top and sides and putting a drop light with a 100W bulb inside. Will that do any good?
Ayuh,..... I'm guessin' that thinkin' light bulb will do the job at -45*f is 'bout the same as thinkin' you could put out a forest fire, by peein' on it,......

Where I'm at, we see those temps atleast once a year, sometimes for a week,......
I suggest ya buy trees native to yer area,......

A red maple would offer the color of the japanese maple,....
'n grows even in zone 3,.....
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:48 PM   #4
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Re: Super Cold Coming. Need Help.


Minus 45 degrees actual or -45 chill factor?

If you can make a sturdy sealed enclosure covered with the plastic wrap, the incandescent light bulb may work out fine for a few degrees below 0 actual. Despite the cold outside the bulb will still melt or burn the plastic if they touch.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:15 AM   #5
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Re: Super Cold Coming. Need Help.


Sad story...

Yes, you can battle the cold for the next few years while trying to protect a plant the clearly does not survive in tha zone.

In N Florida, we would protect bushes and young citrus by using layers. For us, residual heat still comes out of the ground since we would only have freezes at night. So, we'd wrap the plant using sticks to keep the branches from touching the wrappings. Heat would still come from the ground and since we'd cinch the top of the "tent" closed, it would stay inside and keep the plants alive. However, we always had to remember to open the top and sides to let the plant dry out during the daytime - else it would suffer from moisture and overheating.

So, in answer to you dilema, have stakes taller than the plant. Wrap with burlap. Wrap with plastic. Wrap with burlap. wrap with plastic. Each layer should close at the top. If your ground has not frozen, you will get some heat from the earth. However, if you've been having some hard freeze, then use the light bulb and the plant will likely survive.

In the morning if above freezing, kill the light and open the top so the plant can breath.

Face it - after a couple of years the trees will be very tall and you'll get tired of trying to protect it. Branches will be frozen and not bloom in the spring.

Pine trees can be very nice and there are other cold-hardy plants that would be more suited for you.

One thing we used to do is go into the woods and find saplings of local trees which we'd transplant and they'd grow just fine.

Sadly, if you want non-compatible plants you have to grow them indoors or move.
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:51 AM   #6
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Re: Super Cold Coming. Need Help.


That -45 is the chill factor not the actual temp, big difference.
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:22 PM   #7
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Re: Super Cold Coming. Need Help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pwcopy View Post
I bought a japanese maple and planted it last spring. I put up a burlap wind break around it for the winter, and in my growing zone, that would normally be enough. But now SE Michigan is looking at -45F coming soon. That kind of cold killed my last japanese maple. How do I stop it from happening again?

I was thinking about wrapping the wind break with plastic film on the top and sides and putting a drop light with a 100W bulb inside. Will that do any good?

Many thanks for your help, PW
Ouch, that's cold, wind-chill or not. We got almost that cold a few times in Cleveland back in the 1980s. Sometimes, even established plants got blasted, particularly broad-leafed evergreens. Any protection from the wind helped a lot.

I think that a heavier barrier can't hurt. Maybe instead of burlap, some burlap sack stuffed with hay, or something like that? Not sure about plastic film, and not sure if it can be made to withstand the wind. I think the biggest problem is the fact that your tree is new, which is no consolation I realize at this point.

I've tried the lightbulb trick in other situations and sometimes it backfires because it gets too hot.

Here's a link that might provide useful information, too.

https://www.japanesemaplesonline.com...ID/4/index.htm


Everyone else here has good suggestions, too. Hope your tree makes it.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:52 PM   #8
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Re: Super Cold Coming. Need Help.


If you can keep the soil and roots from freezing, you are ahead of the game. In the end you could end up with a dwarf, annual, Acer palmatum
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:59 AM   #9
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Re: Super Cold Coming. Need Help.


Thats odd. Up here in Ontario the Japanese Maples do just fine

http://japanesemaplelovers.com/growi...ne-4-or-lower/
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