Ah, springtime. The sun’s peeking out more often, the birds are back to singing their morning tunes, and your trees are ever so slowly sprouting new flowers and fruits.
And then...the temperature takes a turn. A late freeze in spring is troublesome for all trees, but fruit trees are especially vulnerable.
That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast and take quick action to protect your trees if a spring freeze is expected. Read below to learn how to protect fruit trees from frost.
Some fruit trees tolerate the cold better than others, but all need to be shielded from potential frost damage. Here’s how to shelter fruit trees from frost:
According to the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, you should keep mulch, ground covers, and weeds away from the ground around the trees as much as possible because bare, moist soil radiates more heat than mulched soil. It is also recommended to water trees before a potential freeze because water gives off heat and helps protect the trees. But if a severe freeze is expected, make sure the soil has good drainage and run a sprinkler slowly or furrow-irrigate through the night.
For additional tips and information, contact us. We are here to help and answer your questions.
Plan to cover your tree whenever the temperature is expected to drop below 32 degrees F.
While no fruit trees are made for the cold, your Plant Hardiness Zone can help you determine which ones are best suited to survive the elements in your area.
For example, lemon trees are super sensitive to cold weather, so they need to be planted in zones 9-11, which corresponds with warm areas like Florida, California, or Texas. On the other hand, many pear trees actually need a cooler winter to come out strong in spring, so they’re best suited for cooler planting zones 4-8.
Find out your planting zone to see what fruit trees grow best in your area.
Unfortunately, some fruit trees that are caught off guard by a late frost may lose their fresh blooms and not sprout again until the next spring season. But that depends on a lot, including:
If you’re concerned about the health of your fruit tree after a late frost, have your local arborist check it out.