Protecting Your Fruit Trees from Frost Damage

During the darkest days of winter, while your orchard is dormant, there’s little risk of frost damage to your trees. the most important danger comes within the spring when the tree starts to interrupt dormancy. The young leaf buds and shoot growth are often damaged by extreme cold, and a late frost or snowstorm can mean a harvest-less year for a tree in bloom. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for frost damage; a tree affected during its spring growth and bloom will need to wait until a subsequent year to fruit. Prevention is vital to protecting your tree from frost damage. the primary step to preventing frost damage is to pick a spread of tree that’s cold hardy and has the right chill hours for your climate. If your region typically experiences a late spring frost, select a spread that’s additionally known to possess a late bloom time. this may reduce or, if you’re lucky, eliminate the necessity to require further steps to guard your tree within the spring. If your fruit trees are damaged by a late frost, you won’t necessarily lose your harvest for the year. Apples, pears, and peaches can lose up to 90% of their flower buds without a decrease in harvest. Cherries will have a full harvest even when subjected to a 50% bud kill. the precise temperature that causes bud kill will vary by sort of fruit, variety, bud maturity, and length of cold exposure. Most fruit trees in bloom can withstand temperatures as low as 28°F for a half-hour , with only 10% bud kill (and thus no reduction in harvest). If temperatures are expected to drop too low once your tree begins budding or blooming, or if sleet or snow is predicted, it’s time to require action. If your tree is little enough, you’ll wrap it in frost blanket bags for the duration of the cold spell. For larger trees, spraying with Frost Shield provides protection to young leaves and flowers without damaging them or preventing pollination from occurring.

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