Sunday, 21 April 2013

Frost and the jolly green giant

My larger maple broke bud early this year as it was under glass. It was growing strongly and looking good. Perhaps a bit too vigorous - hence it got named the jolly green giant. This picture is in early February - as you can see the cat is very dubious. 2 weeks ago we had a sunny day so I took him out to stand on the benches and get some sun. We had an excellent BBQ and some wine and I got a bit lazy. So I though it was such a nice day and a warm evening - the tree would survive the night out. I did check the forecast low for the night was 5.

This is the frost damage 2 weeks later. Not a single leaf made it. I wasn't planning to defoliate it this year as it didn't come back very well last year when I did - so I was going to give it a year to plump up and relax. I had planned to give it the hedge trimming treatment mid year if it got out of hand. I had pinched the top branches to 1 node and allowed the sides to grow without restraint. This has improved the shape and will add taper to the main trunks.

Here it is after a complete defoliation. Turned out quite nicely in the end. It will be interesting to see what the second generation foliage looks like - in previous years this second flush has given wonderful autumn color. And smaller leaves with shorter nodes are always welcome.

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