[NAFEX] New Experience: Frost!

Donna &/or Kieran holycow at cookeville.com
Wed Jan 17 23:51:05 EST 2007


Spidra,  I hope your trees have done ok.  In Florida where frosts are 
apparently more common, growers routinely covered the bases of young citrus 
with heaps of dirt before winter weather.  On young trees in their first 
couple of years it's not at all important if the top of the tree is killed, 
all you need to do is protect the base.  In the 1989 Florida freeze, my 
parents ran their sprinkler while the neighbors simply covered the bases of 
their trees with insulation.  Afterward when it was apparent the trees were 
seriously damaged, the neighbors cut their trees down to about a foot high. 
Those trees now have multiple trunks which are extremely attractive.  My 
parents cut their trees back bit by bit, and wound up with more losses.  The 
tree would try to grow, then the branches would die back due to the damaged 
bark.  They'd cut off the dying parts, and more would die.  These were all 
pretty young trees, in their first 6 years I'd say.
    The take home lessons are that dirt or other insulation at the base of 
citrus trees is worth far more than any attempts to protect the tops.  That 
said, the freezes in the early 80's involved blowing winds that dessicated 
the leaves on the trees and killed in a different way from mere cold.  I met 
a guy who had a nice hedge that had protected his citrus trees from the 
wind, and they came out of it much better than most.   Donna 




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