Time To Start Thinking About Citrus Protection

Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 01:28 PM.

Additional facts to assist the grower or home gardener with citrus protection:

Plant trees on a south-facing slope, south of windbreaks, on the south side of a structure or under a light canopy if possible. South facing slope block harmful cold winds and structures offer radiant heat, which aids in the protection of citrus trees. Additionally, light over-story pine canopies allow sufficient sunlight through while reducing frost damage.

Wrap the trunk with commercial tree wrap or mound soil around the base of the tree up to 2 feet. This will protect the graft of the young tree. Thus, if the branches freeze the graft union will be protected.

Cover the tree with a cloth sheet or blanket. For additional protection, large bulb Christmas lights can be placed around the branches of the tree. This will increase the temperature under the cover by several degrees. Be sure to use outdoor lights and outdoor extension cords to avoid the potential of fire.

Water citrus trees. Well watered trees have increased cold hardiness. Do not over-water. If the ground is moist, it is not necessary to water.

Frames may be installed around young trees to hold the cover. This option keeps the blanket or sheet from weighing down the branches.

For large production areas, micro-irrigation is an option. This practice will protect citrus trees up to 5 feet, but must be running throughout the entire freeze event.



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