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Old 10-13-2007, 08:26 PM
eeyore eeyore is offline
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Default Plant Hardiness Zone Update "Does it change anyones zone or plans?"



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I wonder if anyone here is using these as guidelines? Or does it change anyones zone?



Quote:
Plant Hardiness Zone Update - May 23, 2007
Jeff Schalau, Associate Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yavapai County


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Despite arguments about the causes, scientifically valid data indicates that our climate has experienced some changes and many places have become warmer. The National Arbor Day Foundation has developed an updated Plant Hardiness Zone Map based on the most recent 15 years' data available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 5,000 National Climatic Data Center cooperative stations across the United States. It should be noted that this new map is not an official government document and its release has generated some controversy.

Plant Hardiness Zones are based on average annual low temperatures using 10 degree increments. For example, the average low temperature in zone 3 is -40 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low temperature in zone 10 is +30 to +40 degrees Fahrenheit. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map was developed using minimum temperature data and was most recently revised in 1990. It represents the lowest average temperatures that can be expected in that broad area based on a 12-year average (1974-1986). There are 10 different zones rated for plant hardiness and an additional zone that is essentially frost-free. The 1990 map also divided zones 2-10 in half to denote 5-degree differences in average minimum temperature rather than the old 10-degree differences. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map of 1990 can be viewed on-line at: www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/.
You can read the whole article here http://cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/...oneupdate.html
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:00 PM
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I live almost exactly on the line between zones 8 and 9.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:53 PM
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I do use the zones to help determine plants to grow. For instance, when Kev posted about the pecan trees one of the first things I checked was the hardiness zone for them.

The USDA 1990 version has me in 4b. The new one does not have Canada, but based on closest US location would have me in 4 or 5. I have seen other maps that put me in 5b. It's hard to make sense of, but one of the things that I've discovered from my readings is that sometimes conditions are extremely localized and these maps can only be used as a guideline and not concrete fact.

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Old 10-14-2007, 07:56 AM
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There is a place out we i believe through Oregon, it is called the "banana belt" it will grow different foods then the areas around it.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:59 PM
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I've never followed the zone charts, I just go by experience and intuition. I usually play safe.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:41 PM
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I stick with the older more conservative from 1990. A tree can survive a warmer zone temperatures but winter kill in a colder. The USDA 1990 zones are safer for your perennials.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:56 PM
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Thank you for your post on climate changes applied to zones .
i have not made any major changes to my growing activities other than to
adapt to the daily projected temp. ranges and sun light . Right now i have set up heavy wire frames with burlap to shade my lettuce from strong sunlight . These situations have been prelevant for the last three years in north east Texas . I am no expert in weather but for sixty seven years now i have observed cycles that come and go within the seasons .I still use the same plant type for each season applied .
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
The National Arbor Day Foundation has developed an updated Plant Hardiness Zone Map based on the most recent 15 years' data available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 5,000 National Climatic Data Center cooperative stations across the United States.
In no way whatsoever can 15 years of data truly reflect any sort of meaningful change to even publish this is irresponsible. Heck think about the Dustbowl Era, it lasted for a while but then changed, any prognostication about a climate shift based on that period would have fallen on its face. The same goes for today, we can see variation and even a period of trends, but to imagine that the present period is definitive of what to come is ridiculous.
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:15 PM
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I'm zone 9 according to the map, but truth be told, at the bosses mountaintop, I'd guess around a 7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eeyore View Post
There is a place out we i believe through Oregon, it is called the "banana belt" it will grow different foods then the areas around it.
There is a south facing, circular valley in colorado that never freezes, due to the odd geographic trick of being surrounded on three sides by 14,000 foot mountains. You can see on on USGS average temp maps at www.usgs.gov, but it doesn't show up on the hardiness map.

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Originally Posted by riverrat View Post
I've never followed the zone charts, I just go by experience and intuition. I usually play safe.
Same here, But I don;t go safe. I gamble and see what dies. But I agree with Per; knowing the hardiness zones is a bit like having a rough familiarity with the dewey decimal system if you spend much time in libraries. It just makes it easier to understand data you run across.

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Originally Posted by kypossum View Post
In no way whatsoever can 15 years of data truly reflect any sort of meaningful change to even publish this is irresponsible. Heck think about the Dustbowl Era, it lasted for a while but then changed.
Okay, it's go time. The dust bowl era NEVER changed. The dustbowl era was not climate related. The dustbowl was a systemic destruction of the regions soils. This destruction was caused by industrial agriculture; the over plowing and tilling of erosion prone soil that had been previously protected by prairie grasses, with nearly no crop rotation. The dust bowl ended with the green revolution, the discovery that you could use chemical compounds, derived from oil by-products, as well as artificially extracted minerals to maintain soil fertility. What you wind up with is a giant chemical sponge that requires the constant addition of new chemicals to remain viable. The use of herbicides and pesticides has destroyed much of the soil microbiology that is required for soil regeneration, and should you end the application of argo-chemicals today, we will have a new dustbowl by the end of spring. Even in an iceage. It simply wasn't climate related.

Sorry to get my hackles up, but the dustbowl is kind of a pet subject of mine. And as I assume you are implying this is a climate change announcement, relax. This is merely an observation that for the last fifteen years, the temps have been high, so it might be okay to plant tomatoes about 50 miles north or a few weeks early.

No prognostication, just a safe bet, just as the 1990s plant hardiness zone map is. If the official map was a prognostication, our citrus and stock feed crops would not have been decimated this year, is simply a guide to average temps derived from statistical data that has not been updated since 1990. It's almanac data.
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:20 PM
stoneunhenged stoneunhenged is offline
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It has changed my zone, and I have changed the varieties I select for planting. I now have a couple of dozen citrus trees that grow outside with minimal protection in the winter. You can argue about the causes of climate change, but as one scientist said, 'climate change' is redundant. The climate is always changing. Ten thousand years ago Florida had twice the land mass because water was locked up as ice at the poles. I think it's fair to say that we're experiencing a warming trend, and gardeners should plant accordingly.
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