What to do about frost-damaged trees?

Just a quick post about the many frost-damaged trees. What can you do about them? Best to be patient a little longer!

Lemon Tree hit very hard with the freeze!

This winter has been unusual in that we have had two really cold spells with more typical weather in between. It looks like there is another bout of cold weather coming this weekend – hopefully the last one of the winter! Perhaps because of the very cold nights hitting in several episodes, we have had some unusual damage to plants this winter.

Until the weather warms up for good, and these damaged plants start to grow again, we really won’t know exactly what damage has been done. So, be patient a few more weeks to a month! When the trees start to leaf out it will be easy to tell how much of the branch tips are dead and how much needs to be trimmed off.

Our lemon tree has been killed back to larger branches – all the small twigs around the outside of the tree are dead. I can tell easily because of the color of the bark. But, I am not going to cut the tree back until we are well past the cold weather. The damaged branches and leaves around the tree are protecting the interior of the tree from freezing again if it gets that cold. Patience!

Can you see where the green stops on the branch? It will be easier to tell how much was killed if you wait until the leaves start coming out.

Our Blood Orange tree has a lot of damage, but not as much as the Lemon.

Most of the branch tips are alive on the Orange and will grow new leaves when it warms up!

I looked at an ash tree in Phoenix today that was just starting to leaf out before the last round of freezing weather. Those leaves were all killed and are hanging down black and dead from the branch tips. Normally by the end of February the tree is fully leafed out according to its owners. What to do about it? Wait! In a few weeks to a month I believe it will leaf out and we can see the extent of damage – if any. There were the typical landscaper stub and topping cuts in evidence which have done a lot more damage than this cold weather.

Beautiful healthy trees make such a difference in the appearance of a property! Once they are ruined by someone who is unskilled and unlearned in working with trees, they will NEVER BE THE SAME! I see SO MUCH bad work happening all over the Phoenix Metro Area as I meet with people in neighborhoods all over the city, even in very exclusive areas.  I want to get the word out: JUST SAY “NO” to bad tree work! JUST SAY “NO” to uninsured, fly-by-night people with a pickup and chainsaw. Hire a Certified Arborist even if it isn’t me! Your trees will thank you for it!

I have an irrigation post I want to get up in the next couple days. Check back for that and some of our current projects!

Update: See part 1 here and part 3 here!

Tags: ,