Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

A Nutty Winter in Store?

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Shagbark Hickory Nuts, Shagbark Hickory Tree, 2017-2018 Winter Weather Predictions

Hello fellow readers,

Nuts are abundant this fall which, in weather folklore, means a harsh winter is ahead. When walking around our Shagbark Hickory trees (Carya ovata) it feels as though I’m skating on marbles. The first time I was introduced to shagbark nuts was when a golf ball sized torpedo beaned my head while gardening. “Fore.” Note to self, best to wear a hardhat in the fall. The shaggy bark of this native beauty provides an outstanding sculpture in the landscape, however it’s not used in the trades because of the mess. Interestingly only the mature trees have shaggy bark. Young trees are smooth. Sounds familiar?

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Shagbark Hickory Nuts, Shagbark Hickory Tree, 2017-2018 Winter Weather Predictions

The shaggy bark of this native beauty provide sculpture in the landscape. Too bad she’s a tad messy.

Beyond providing food for critters including squirrels, raccoons, black bears, foxes, and turkeys, shagbark hickory nuts can be people food too. They’re a pecan substitute, though their unpredictable nut production makes them not viable for orchard production.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Shagbark Hickory Nuts, Shagbark Hickory Tree, 2017-2018 Winter Weather Predictions

Per folklore, this little cutie with a narrow brown band indicates a harsh winter ahead.

As you would expect the folklore of harsh winters ahead, when plentiful nuts and narrow brown-banded woolly bear caterpillars abound, are not scientifically proven. The old tried and true Farmer’s Almanac predicts 2017-2018 winter temperatures will likely be more normal than in years past in the Northeast. But five coastal storms are likely to pound the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast providing a snowier winter than normal. Yay for us snow lovers!

Then there’s the more traditional authority of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who explains the “biggest wildcard” is a 55 to 65-percent chance of an “La Nina that could shape the character of the upcoming winter.” If the La Nina manifests it typically influences “above average precipitation and colder than average temperatures along the Northern Tier of the U.S. and below normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South.”

NOAA clarifies their seasonal outlooks provide likelihoods of temperature and precipitation only, not projected snowfall accumulations. “Snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance because they depend upon the strength and track of winter storms.” No kidding! Recall last year’s mild temps and no snow until we were slammed with the March blizzard making up for the lack of Frosty. In other words, let’s wait and see. Meanwhile bring out your winter coats and protect your evergreens by spraying Wilt-Pruf or other natural resin to protect them from winter burn.

Garden Dilemmas? Askmarystone@gmail.com

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Shagbark Hickory Nuts, Shagbark Hickory Tree, 207-2018 Winter Weather Predictions

Humongous Walnuts Abound!

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

Leave a Reply

*

captcha *