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Frost January 2021

Frost hasn’t been that prevalent since I’ve been in Ireland and started planting my Eucalyputs trees. Frosts haven’t been particularly prolonged, perhaps a couple of days here and there at most. Not severe enough, or prolonged enough to make any real impact on the hardness of the ground.

So the frosts of January 2021 which lasted a week or so, although not too severe, perhaps getting down to around -4℃ will be the first real test for my Eucalyptus mini forest. It has been prolonged and day time temperatures haven’t been warm enough to thaw the ground completely before the colder night time temperatures returned and continued the freeze.

These are Eucalyptus Glaucescens which are hardy down to -16℃ so I’m not expecting any issues with them.

Eucalyptus Glaucescens January 2021 frosts

Parvula are even more resilient to frosty weather, hardy down to -18℃

Eucalyptus Parvula January 2021 frosts

Frost and Eucalyptus Robusta

The only variety that I have planted that may have an issue is Robusta which from my research so far is only frost hardy down to -6℃

Eucalyptus Robusta in the frost

It seems to be doing fine. I noticed the withering on the new growth after a couple of reasonable gales at the end of 2020

Eucalyptus Robusta wind burn

and this is still by far the factor that will hamper the growth of Eucalyptus; strong cold winter gales.

This part of my mini forest does get the sun for much of the day, though at this time of year, early January it isn’t too strong. Still mostly it had thawed off the leaves by the time I got round to taking the photo below just after midday.

Eucalyptus Robusta with frost on leaves

All in all I am happy that Eucalyptus Robusta is still a good choice in Ireland. It is happy growing on the coast, a factor that will negate frosts which are tempered by sea temperatures. It is more tolerant of salty winds and slightly saline soils. It’s common name is Swamp Mahogany which says everything you need to know about the quality of the timber. Robusta is grown commercially for it’s high quality constructional timber.

Most Eucalyptus harden with maturity and the older leaves on this one, though less than a year old do seem to have survived both gales and frost.

Eucalyptus Robusta leaves in the frost

As with most life, I think it is a combination of the severity and duration that results in a deterioration in health. This is why I am so interested in the effects of this frosty period.

I’ll keep you posted πŸ˜‰