|It's important to protect your fruit trees from freezing temperatures. Photo by Jared Subia on Unsplash.|
Baton Rouge, La. – As the weather continues to become colder it’s important to take precautions to protect your citrus trees. These trees are frost-tender and are likely to be damaged by freezing temperatures. Because of this, citrus trees are usually grown in hardiness zones 9-11.
When a freeze is coming (temperatures reaching 32°F or below) measures need to be taken to minimize damage to your citrus trees.
The longer the temperature remains under 32°F, the more damage it can cause.
Follow these steps to protect your citrus trees throughout the winter.
Step 1. Make sure your tree is watered well, this helps insulate the soil and roots. Make sure the bottom of the tree is also mulched well with either pine bark mulch, pine straw mulch, etc.).
Step 2. Cover the tree with a sheet or row cover, this protects the leaves from dew accumulation – which is actually what harms the leaves once the dew turns to frost.
Step 3. If the tree is too large to cover, you can focus on protecting the lower trunk of the tree with a tree wrap, bubble wrap, foam rubber, or Styrofoam to prevent cold damage, this can be placed before the threat of the first frost and left on the trunk throughout the winter.
Step 4. After the temperature rises the next day or so, remove the sheet from over the tree branches.
Step 5. Make sure to glean or remove all mature fruits before the freezing temperatures.
For any questions contact Stephanie Elwood, SU Ag Center Sustainable Urban Ag Trainer for the Enhancing Capacity of Louisiana's Small Farms and Businesses Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.