Spring brings the first rays of steady sunlight that encourage your trees to start sprouting fruit and flowers. However, sometimes at the start of spring, the cold weather makes a sudden and abrupt turn as winter tries to reassert its dominance. This can cause a late freeze, which is difficult for many trees to combat. Fruit trees are the most vulnerable during a late freeze, but Five Star Tree Services has some suggestions to help you protect your fruit and flowering trees from a late freeze.
Protecting Your Trees
Some fruit trees are better able to protect themselves from the cold, but all trees need to be protected from the frost. Depending on the type of tree you have, several methods of protection are effective.
- Peach Trees: To protect peach trees, cover them with a blanket or a sheet during the day. This will allow heat to build up that will protect them at night during the freeze. Make sure to leave the cover in place until the freeze passes.
- Citrus Trees: These are the most fragile of all trees. Small trees should be draped with burlap, a sheet, a tree frost blanket, or any other type of fabric at least a day before the freeze occurs. The cover has to surround the whole tree to trap the heat and prevent frost.
- Apple Trees: These trees are pretty sturdy compared to other fruit-bearing trees. They can handle the cold, but it is still a good idea to cover them during sudden frost.
It is important to avoid placing ground covers, mulch, and weeds from around the base of a tree during cold weather and frost periods. The moist bare soil emits more heat than soil that is mulched. Watering trees ahead of a frost can also help to protect them as water also emits heat. When you expect a freeze, it is also best to furrow-irrigate at night or use a sprinkler on its low setting while ensuring there is proper drainage for your trees. Any time the outside temperature is forecast to drop below 32 degrees; you should cover your trees.
Which Trees Can Survive in the Cold?
No fruit-bearing trees are made for cold climates, but some are better equipped to handle the cold than others. The Plant Hardiness Zone can help you choose the right trees to plant for the area where you live. For example, lemon trees and other citrus trees need to be planted in zones 9-11 where the risk of cold weather is minimal. Pear trees, on the other hand, need cold weather to thrive and should be planted in zones 4-8.
Some fruit or flowering trees that are caught unguarded during the late frost may lose their blossoms. In many cases, these trees will no longer sprout during the current growing season but will come back next spring as healthy as ever.
Younger trees are more prone to damage than mature trees. Trees that have closed buds are also able to handle the cold better than those that have already started to bloom. Of course, the longer a freeze is present, the more dangerous it is for your trees.
How We Can Help
The skilled arborists here at Five Star Tree Services are always on hand to help protect your trees from frost and with regular maintenance. Some of the other services we provide include tree removal, tree planting, and tree pruning in Richmond Hill and the Greater Toronto Area. If you require our assistance, give us a call at (416) 990-3355 today.