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Old 15-01-2004, 06:12 AM
Roger Snipes
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

I note that the new climate zone map has put Spokane, Washington solidly in
Zone 6 (formerly Zone 5), along with most all of Eastern and Central
Washington north to the Canadian border. Now, just last week during the
cold spell, our official low in Spokane was somewhere around -19 or -20
degrees F., and Deer Park, about 20 miles to the north of us, was down to at
least -25 F. I'm sure that those people just to the north of us will be
comforted to know that they are now in Zone 6, and can expect a maximum low
of -10 F.

It seems to me that the USDA is not only getting a bit hasty in deciding
that all these areas that they have moved into warmer zones aren't going to
get as cold anymore as they historically have, just because things have been
a bit warmer for the last 10 or 15 years, but they seemingly have not even
done that much research on the temperatures that can be expected in any
given location. I wonder if other areas of the country have been similarly
sloppily classified.

Regards,
Roger Snipes Spokane, WA Zone 5, or maybe Zone 6.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it,
and then misapplying the wrong remedies. Groucho Marx (1895-1977)


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Lewis"

http://www.ahs.org/publications/usda...s_zone_map.htm

and look for a link.

And it is NOT based on more than cold temps.


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Old 15-01-2004, 10:34 PM
Itanda Joni
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

No more "a" & "b" and a map I can READ! Now I'm a Zone 7! WEEEEE! I
can actually tell where I am! Nice map!

Thanks!


On 14 Jan 2004 20:45:14 -0800, (Roger Snipes)
wrote:

I note that the new climate zone map has put Spokane, Washington solidly in
Zone 6 (formerly Zone 5), along with most all of Eastern and Central
Washington north to the Canadian border. Now, just last week during the
cold spell, our official low in Spokane was somewhere around -19 or -20
degrees F., and Deer Park, about 20 miles to the north of us, was down to at
least -25 F. I'm sure that those people just to the north of us will be
comforted to know that they are now in Zone 6, and can expect a maximum low
of -10 F.

It seems to me that the USDA is not only getting a bit hasty in deciding
that all these areas that they have moved into warmer zones aren't going to
get as cold anymore as they historically have, just because things have been
a bit warmer for the last 10 or 15 years, but they seemingly have not even
done that much research on the temperatures that can be expected in any
given location. I wonder if other areas of the country have been similarly
sloppily classified.

Regards,
Roger Snipes
Spokane, WA Zone 5, or maybe Zone 6.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it,
and then misapplying the wrong remedies. Groucho Marx (1895-1977)


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Lewis"

http://www.ahs.org/publications/usda...s_zone_map.htm

and look for a link.

And it is NOT based on more than cold temps.


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_____________________________________
Itanda Joni
USDA 2003 map - Zone 7
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Old 17-01-2004, 09:42 PM
Iris Cohen
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

I note that the new climate zone map has put Spokane, Washington solidly in
Zone 6 (formerly Zone 5), along with most all of Eastern and Central Washington
north to the Canadian border. Now, just last week during thecold spell, our
official low in Spokane was somewhere around -19 or -20degrees F., and Deer
Park, about 20 miles to the north of us, was down to atleast -25 F. I'm sure
that those people just to the north of us will be comforted to know that they
are now in Zone 6, and can expect a maximum low of -10 F. BRBR

I'm afraid you have misunderstood the USDA standards for the climate zones. The
climate zone records the AVERAGE winter low temperature. If the lowest
temperature one year is -20 and the lowest temperature the next year is zero,
you have an average minimum temperature of -10.
Iris,
Central NY, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40
"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, It's the light of the oncoming
train."
Robert Lowell (1917-1977)
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Old 18-01-2004, 05:13 PM
Roger Snipes
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

Iris,

I understand how averages work. My point was that I think the
reclassification of the zones based on the warmer recorded temperatures over
the last few years may not be wise. We don't really know if this is a long
term trend, never to be reversed, or if it is merely a short term
fluctuation in the climate. (Short term could be 20 or 30 years or more in
the geological sense.)

My other point was that the new zone map seems to be pretty loosely drawn,
lumping areas to the north of us into the same zone. Some of these areas to
the north are known to get substantially colder than it does here. I don't
know that the new map will really be doing many people any favors by making
them think that they are in a higher zone than they may actually be in.
Just because the new map tells you that you are now in a warmer zone than
you were in according to the last map doesn't mean you should rush out and
get those more tender trees you have always wanted to grow, you should be
aware of the actual temperatures that you can expect in your area.

Regards,
Roger Snipes Spokane, WA Zone 5, or maybe Zone 6.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it,
and then misapplying the wrong remedies. Groucho Marx (1895-1977)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Iris Cohen"

I'm afraid you have misunderstood the USDA standards for the climate

zones. The
climate zone records the AVERAGE winter low temperature. If the lowest
temperature one year is -20 and the lowest temperature the next year is

zero,
you have an average minimum temperature of -10.


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Old 18-01-2004, 05:34 PM
Jim Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

Iris,

I understand how averages work. My point was that I think the
reclassification of the zones based on the warmer recorded

temperatures over
the last few years may not be wise. We don't really know if

this is a long
term trend, never to be reversed, or if it is merely a short

term
fluctuation in the climate. (Short term could be 20 or 30

years or more in
the geological sense.)


Well, since we're gowing trees NOW, we should have a zone system
that reflects the NOW. If things change -- in whatever
direction -- the zones can always be revised again. The USDA has
revised them several times already in their short life. And,
perhaps, hopefully, further research, can result in other
environmental conditions being factored in to make the system
truly useful.


My other point was that the new zone map seems to be pretty

loosely drawn,
lumping areas to the north of us into the same zone. Some of

these areas to
the north are known to get substantially colder than it does

here. I don't
know that the new map will really be doing many people any

favors by making
them think that they are in a higher zone than they may

actually be in.
Just because the new map tells you that you are now in a warmer

zone than
you were in according to the last map doesn't mean you should

rush out and
get those more tender trees you have always wanted to grow, you

should be
aware of the actual temperatures that you can expect in your

area.

All true. But then the map ALWAYS has been a general guide.
Many of us have microclimates that are considerably different
from the area norm. My farm, for instance, is always 4-10
degrees warmer in winter than the "official" Tallahassee
temperature site -- which is 20 miles south of me at the
tree-less, all-concrete airport -- which _should_ be warmer than
my woods and pasture. We also get an inch or two less rain in
the average year.

Note, too, that this map has NOT been released by the USDA yet.
That probably means there's still a bit of tweaking that needs
doing.

Jim Lewis - - Tallahassee, FL - The ignorant
man marvels at the exceptional; the wise man marvels at the
common; the greatest wonder of all is the regularity of
nature. -- George Dana Bordman

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Old 18-01-2004, 05:42 PM
Michael Persiano
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

In a message dated 1/18/2004 10:44:35 AM Eastern Standard Time,
writes:
Iris,

I understand how averages work. My point was that I think the
reclassification of the zones based on the warmer recorded temperatures over
the last few years may not be wise. We don't really know if this is a long
term trend, never to be reversed, or if it is merely a short term
fluctuation in the climate. (Short term could be 20 or 30 years or more in
the geological sense.)

My other point was that the new zone map seems to be pretty loosely drawn,
lumping areas to the north of us into the same zone. Some of these areas to
the north are known to get substantially colder than it does here. I don't
know that the new map will really be doing many people any favors by making
them think that they are in a higher zone than they may actually be in.
Just because the new map tells you that you are now in a warmer zone than
you were in according to the last map doesn't mean you should rush out and
get those more tender trees you have always wanted to grow, you should be
aware of the actual temperatures that you can expect in your area.
Iris:

This is much wisdom in your communication. We will all find significant
variability in our climates from year to year. It is prudent to expect extremes
in both the summer and winter. In this approach we can better ensure the
longevity of our trees.

Cordially,

Michael

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Old 18-01-2004, 06:14 PM
MartyWeiser
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

My key question is how useful are averages with regard to plant survival in
the ground since that is how the USDA maps are generally used. If the
killing temperature is just below the average then the plant will be killed
by the extreme temperatures a bit less than half the time. I would think
that maps based upon the expected extreme every 10 - 20 years would be more
useful. The same can be said for heat index maps and data.

For bonsai such maps and related hardiness info must be used with caution
since our trees are in pots or very shallow ground planting and we take
extra precautions to protect them that are not feasible for a 10 m tall
tree. In fact the average lows may be more useful, particularly in the
warmer climates, since that would help let the grower know if it will get
cold enough cold climate trees to experience their needed dormancy most
years.

Averages (and the other associated statistics) are great when dealing with
group behavior. However, they are not that good when dealing with
individual behavior - Frankly, I don't care if my now dead specimen bonsai
would have survived most winters.

Marty

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Old 18-01-2004, 07:33 PM
Jim Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2


Averages (and the other associated statistics) are great when

dealing with
group behavior. However, they are not that good when dealing

with
individual behavior - Frankly, I don't care if my now dead

specimen bonsai
would have survived most winters.



True. The maps are for _guidance_ though, not for day-to-day
bonsai (or plant) care. We use the maps to tell us whether a
given species will survive in our area, MAY survive with special
care, or will NOT survive. Plus, you have to take account of the
fact that you should subtract a zone for a plant in a pot (bonsai
or otherwise).

Unusual weather events (like in the Northeast now) aren't covered
by the UDSA climate zone maps. It is the responsibility of the
grower to keep his or her eye on the current and short-range
local weather forecasts and take appropriate action.

I think some folks -- especially those who are inexperienced with
growing things (ground or pots) -- put more faith in these maps
than was ever intended. But then, people who make bonsai their
introduction to growing things -- anywhere -- have bewildered me
for years. I started with radishes when I was 3. In pots, too.
;-)

Jim Lewis - - Tallahassee, FL - The ignorant
man marvels at the exceptional; the wise man marvels at the
common; the greatest wonder of all is the regularity of
nature. -- George Dana Bordman

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Old 18-01-2004, 09:02 PM
Roger Snipes
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

Jim,

A good point, we are growing our trees NOW. However, NOW is different each
year, and we generally look at what the weather has historically done to try
and have some idea of what the weather may do NOW, or next year, etc. If we
only look at the last 10 years or so to make this judgment we may get a
false sense of what could possibly happen with the weather NOW.

Well, since we're gowing trees NOW, we should have a zone system
that reflects the NOW. If things change -- in whatever
direction -- the zones can always be revised again. The USDA has
revised them several times already in their short life. And,
perhaps, hopefully, further research, can result in other
environmental conditions being factored in to make the system
truly useful.


One thing that might help the USDA zone map would be to factor in record
lows somehow, not just the average. Another would be to more closely define
the designated areas, much like Sunset does. Of course, it might be too
expensive and time consuming for the USDA to go into that kind of detail.

Regards,
Roger Snipes Spokane, WA Zone 5, or maybe Zone 6.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it,
and then misapplying the wrong remedies. Groucho Marx (1895-1977)

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Old 19-01-2004, 05:13 AM
Iris Cohen
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

In 1979, we had frost on June 3. it was definitely illegal, but I didn't get a
refund from the government. The USDA maps are the scientists' estimates based
on the averages of the past 20 years. And don't forget, it is hotter in the
city than it is in the summer.
Iris,
Central NY, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40
"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, It's the light of the oncoming
train."
Robert Lowell (1917-1977)
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Old 20-01-2004, 04:48 AM
Roger Snipes
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

----- Original Message -----
From: "Iris Cohen"
In 1979, we had frost on June 3. it was definitely illegal, but I didn't

get a
refund from the government.


Iris, you may have hit upon something here. Maybe you should sue the feds
for the emotional trauma and financial loss that you suffered when your tree
was killed by an unauthorized cold snap! After all, its the American way.
:-)

Regards,
Roger Snipes Spokane, WA Zone 5, or maybe Zone 6.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it,
and then misapplying the wrong remedies. Groucho Marx (1895-1977)

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Old 20-01-2004, 04:48 AM
Iris Cohen
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

Maybe you should sue the feds
for the emotional trauma and financial loss that you suffered when your tree
was killed by an unauthorized cold snap! BRBR

Actually, I wasn't growing bonsai yet. I may have lost a few orchids. Nothing
traumatic.
By the way, the new map is not official yet. It is still being reviewed. They
say it will be out in April. They don't expect to issue a printed form, only
online.
Iris,
Central NY, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40
"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, It's the light of the oncoming
train."
Robert Lowell (1917-1977)
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Old 20-01-2004, 03:03 PM
Jim Lewis
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

By the way, the new map is not official yet. It is still being
reviewed. They
say it will be out in April. They don't expect to issue a

printed form, only
online.


Sigh. I can remember when you could order a USDA zones WALL map.
Now THAT was useful!

And, it was FREE! Ahh, how gummint "services" have matured.

Jim Lewis - - Tallahassee, FL - Only where
people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and
its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it
should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.

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Old 21-01-2004, 05:03 AM
Roger Snipes
 
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Default [IBC] New USDA map 2

From: "Jim Lewis"
Sigh. I can remember when you could order a USDA zones WALL map.
Now THAT was useful!

And, it was FREE! Ahh, how gummint "services" have matured.


Of course it was never really free, we all paid for your map whether we
wanted it or not. These days, we would all pay for the map whether we
wanted it or not, and you would have to pay for it a second time to actually
get one. :-)

Regards,
Roger Snipes Spokane, WA Zone 5, or maybe Zone 6.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it,
and then misapplying the wrong remedies. Groucho Marx (1895-1977)

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