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HELP, Question about wind chill.
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Lark
Wisconsin zone 4/5
2282 Posts
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January 21, 2011 - 1:28 pm

I would like to know when a perennial, tree or shrub have  a zone hardiness listed on the tag, does the wind chill factor into this. In Wisconsin we can get some VERY VERY FRIGID temps. Today it is -20 with the wind chill.

Dousman, Wisconsin, zone 5

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KeyWee54
Western Kentucky Zone 7a
616 Posts
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January 22, 2011 - 5:58 am

Wow ~ good question!  Since you got me wondering (not that we have TOO much of a wind chill problem here), I typed "wind chill effects on plants" in the Google search box and it's interesting.  The general opinion is that "no, it does not have an effect" but other factors can come into play.  One poster stated that wind chill temps only affect objects that are already warm, such as mammals (ok, that would be us and I KNOW I can feel it!).  Another said that the issue is more the wind itself (causing dessication) rather than its temperature.  Other factors (plant location, moisture, etc.) all can come into play.  After researching, I am going to say no, but with some reservations.  You know those plants that you have that you tend to baby?  (Come on, you've got to have one or two.)  I would worry more about them than most of those that seem impervious to the elements.  I have a lipstick salvia that I "baby" since they called it a "tender perennial" when I got it.  It is planted close to the house in a corner, and mulched to the heavens!

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Lark
Wisconsin zone 4/5
2282 Posts
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January 22, 2011 - 11:08 am

Thanks Keewee.  I bet the wind drys out alot of vegetation. I think I will just pile more snow about around things that I am concerned about.

Dousman, Wisconsin, zone 5

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KeyWee54
Western Kentucky Zone 7a
616 Posts
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January 22, 2011 - 1:31 pm

That is one thing that people in the south do NOT understand ..... snow is a GREAT insulator!  We don't get enough to do the trick and the ground never freezes either ~ makes for some MIGHTY big insects come summerSurprised

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