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Late Freeze Damage on Peony Buds

Just as one can never “step twice into the same river,” so to do we gardeners know that no two seasons are exactly alike. So far 2016 has provided us at Cricket Hill Garden with unprecedented challenges relating to our wildly fluctuating spring temperatures. Some of our tree peonies and fruit trees have not fared well after a very warm fall, a generally mild winter punctuated by brief periods of bitter cold and a spring which as seen a highs in the 70s and lows in the teens. Tree peonies and many of the fruit trees are perfectly hardy to the -10 F we saw over Valentine’s Day weekend if they are fully dormant. This year, because of the warm fall and...

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Assessing winter bud damage on tree peonies

As our tree peonies begin to wake up for the spring, we are seeing more flower and leaf bud damage than usual. The damage is most acute on the earliest blooming varieties of Chinese tree peonies. This freeze damage was caused by the few days of very low temperatures (-10° F) we experienced over the Valentines Day weekend. Fully dormant tree peony buds are hardy to temperatures below this low. Last fall's extraordinarily warm weather caused the buds on many of the early blooming tree peonies to break dormancy in December and thus be vulnerable to freeze damage. Lucky, the vast majority of our tree peonies remained dormant throughout the winter and appear the be leafing out normally now. We do not...

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Welcome to the new

Please be patient with us as we work out the kinks of this new site. The 'Learn' section will be greatly expanded over the course of this spring and summer. Should you have any questions, email us at

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