Lawns, Gardens & Trees


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Anybody Want to Make a Bet? Will Fargo Hit -25 degrees F this winter?

With the mild and dry winter we have had thus far in North Dakota, I’m betting that we will not see a -25 F temperature between now and April  1st. My colleague and friend, NDSU’s Climatologist, Adnan Akyuz, Ph.D., says to not let our guard down. The last time we had a -25 day in February was in 2008; in March it was in 1917 – occurring as late as March 15th.Frosty

While I contend that we are 97% “out of the woods” for getting this cold hit, we both want to issue a “be on guard” statement, and encourage keeping a wary eye on the changes in our weather patterns. Europe and Russia are getting a brutal blast of cold and snow, Alaska is having its share of unceasing snow and cold, and parts of the eastern US are experiencing wide swings in temperature extremes. Will Baltimore, New York City, and St Louis all have more snow and cold than we will here in ND? Time will tell!

Should the unlikely happen to show up in a forecast, try to protect your recently planted trees and shrubs with anything possible you have on hand. Snow, if it is still on the surrounding turf, is an excellent insulator, and can be piled around and up over the crown and lower stems or branches. Even though our newly revised Plant Hardiness Zone Map indicates a mild climate emerging, we still have the potential to get hit with a wipe-out temperature nose-dive. Keep up the vigilance with your eyes on the daily forecasts! 

Ron Smith, Ph.D.

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