Little damage was done by a recent twenty-eight degree night. This followed several nights that flirted with the freezing mark, and fortunately, seldom is damage severe on tender new leaves unless temperatures fall to twenty-five degrees or colder. Two seedling Japanese maples were at the tenderest stage of growth, with leaves just out, and while all leaves appear to have been lost, I am hopeful that stems were not. Carelessly, I did not move them into the greenhouse for the night. Some leaves were lost on the dwarf ‘Shaina’ (below), but it is so bushy that this will hardly be noticed once the brown falls away.
New leaves of ‘Miyasaki’ toad lilies (Tricyrtis hirta ‘Miyazaki’, below) were damaged, but this happens every few years, and a month later the brown leaves are gone with no apparent ill effect. In recent years, mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) leafed early, then were severely damaged by late freezes. This has resulted in unsatisfactory blooming in consecutive years, but now, while the hydrangeas were nearly fully leafed, the freeze was late enough that leaves were not as tender, and there was no damage.
One of three Floating Cloud Japanese maples (Acer palmatum ‘Ukigumo’, below) grows tall and straight with a short period of morning sun only, while the others in sunnier spots are more shrub-like. None display the remarkable foliage coloring I’ve seen in the cooler northwest states, but the best color is in the shade. Its leaves were just emerging during the periods of cold, but there is no damage.
A Golden Full Moon Japanese maple (Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’, below) was planted in what I suspected was too sunny a spot, so I feared that leaves would scorch in the summer. Instead, the location must be just right, and while the bright yellow fades somewhat by late spring, the foliage remains colorful. While leaves were at a vulnerable stage when the freezes hit, they have much more substance than the foliage of other Japanese maples, so no harm was done.