Hardiness zone for Vancouver, BC

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Mister Green, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    Hello,

    We have had an unusually cold and snowy winter these past couple of months. However, what is the hardiness zone for Vancouver, BC? Typical winter low temperatures rarely go below -5 C for any prolonged periods.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    There has been more than one zoning system developed over the years and they are not all the same. So, which zone you are in will depend on which system you are asking about. Some phrases to try when surfing are

    "canadian hardiness zones"
    "usda hardiness zones"
     
  3. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    I think we're about the same zone as you in Edmonds, give or take. Given this year's temperatures were only about a zone level colder than normal, my semi hardy plants sure suffered. What survived in other winters will perhaps need replacing this year.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Note that minimum temperature ranges given for zones are averages, so zones don't move up and down with temperature variations. The statement "we had a Zone 6 winter" is meaningless - no single temperature corresponds to a particular zone. It is the averaging of all the minimum temperatures over a particular period of years that is used to come up with zone assignments - at least in the case of the USDA Hardiness Zones.

    On the whole Vancouver area is colder than here both in summer and in winter. Portland also has somewhat colder winters than us, but hotter summers. Some years a spring-flowering tree that is noticed blooming in Seattle area will have come out two weeks earlier in Portland, and may not be out for two weeks yet in Vancouver. It seems possible that a particular tree could be seen and enjoyed for an extended period by following its flowering sequence from north to south.
     
  5. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    When I lived in Burnaby, I believe it was a zone 8.
     
  6. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    The snow and sub arctic type winds, have to be blamed for the decimated plants in our gardens. In Port Moody, all the Dracaenas perished, and the Musa are at the soil level...and these had some protection from the winds....

    The hardiness zone will always be a guide to plantings of a myriad of trees and shrubs, however, when a zone experiences extremes, and no protection is provided, the borderline hardy species may perish.
     
  7. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    K Baron, in your previous comment "all the Dracaenas perished" I assume you are refering to the genus Cordyline? If so, these will generally re-grow from ground level.
    Dracaena would perish in any winter here and not re-grow.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  8. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    I know, and the regrowth of multiple stems just don't look as tropical as the single ones... Check out the behemoth in Tofino!
     
  9. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    I'll be checking out a few gardens around here (Vancouver Island) this spring. I'll be interested to see and perhaps speak with gardeners about their experiences this past winter.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  10. cindys

    cindys Active Member

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    As Ron says, there are several different climate zone maps. However, the USDA and the Canadian ones use the same scale and Vancouver is generally considered to be zone 8. However, Vancouver has many micro-climates (there is a lovely little book, The Climates of Vancouver, which goes into great detail on this). Most of us here in Vancouver have tried to grow some zone 9 plants...some have worked and some haven't. This past winter has been a tough one because the coldest weather came before we had any snow cover. It looks like I have lost all my Euphorbias, a Ceanothus, and one little hebe (though my ground cover hebe and a large shrub hebe are ok). The Mexican Mock Orange (Choisya) looks damaged too. However, luckily, I put fleece wraps around my phormium plants and they appear to be just fine.

    Cindy
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    I'll have to look for that book.
     
  12. cindys

    cindys Active Member

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    Ron...here is the info on the book I mentioned (I got the title slightly wrong):
    Author: Oke, T. R.
    Title: The climate of Vancouver / Tim Oke and John Hay.
    Published: Vancouver, B.C. : University of British Columbia, 1994.
    Edition [2nd ed.].
    Series B.C. geographical series ; no. 50

    I checked Amazon.com and found only a couple of used copies of the 1st ed from the 1970's. The book is available at Vancouver Public Library (Call #: 551.6971133 H41c1) and at both UBC and SFU libraries. It is very specific to the Greater Vancouver area.

    Cindy
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Maybe I can find it at a library down here as well.
     
  14. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    The leaves on my Choiysa are quite limp. Is that damage from the cold? What should I do?
     
  15. cindys

    cindys Active Member

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    I was told by one of the gardener's at VanDusen Botanical Garden that I could cut back the Choisya to remove the damaged bits.

    As it is beginning to warm up, I notice that the Viburnum is looking better and there is baby growth beginning in the patch of Euphorbia that was badly hit by the weather. The larger hebe that had a bit of damage can be cut back and reshaped. The only thing I have truly lost is the Ceanothus.

    Cindy
     
  16. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    Thanks for the advise Cindy. But do you mean cut the whole plant back? The entire plant is looking limp.
    I lost my evergreen fern and creeping jenny. The garden I volunteer in lost plants and bushes that usually make it through the winter.
     
  17. cindys

    cindys Active Member

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    Here is something from the Royal Horticultural Society...look under the heading Renovation:

    http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles0501/pruning_evergreens.asp

    Most sources suggest removing the dead and damaged bits. Other sources also suggest that it can be cut right back to the ground, if necessary. I am always afraid to do that, but have drastically pruned a Lonicera nitida which suffered winter damage 2 years ago and it really did roar back. One gardener I spoke to said that the root structure had developed to support the larger plant and, when you cut it back, those roots act like they are still feeding the larger plant, so it grows quickly (not a scientific explanation, I know, but descriptive!)
     

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