frozen plants

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by lpettis1, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. lpettis1

    lpettis1 Member

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    I have several plants that the foliage got frozen during our freeze last week. Should I cut these plants back to the first main split (Y) or go all the way to the ground with the pruning? I lost quite a few plants and am hoping to save some of them.
     
  2. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Any pictures? If the fear of frost is over, then yes cut to the desired height, but a picture may help.
     
  3. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Because your asked your question on the citrus forum, I assume you are talking about your citrus trees. It would certanly NOT BE WISE to do any cutting on your tree at all at this time. The question arises as to how much cold your citrus tree could stand. This is influenced by many factors, principally by the state of dormancy of the tree, the variety, soil and moisture conditions, the duration of the cold, and the weather conditions immediately preceding the cold snap. The first effect of cold appears on the leaves, the cold gives them a dark greasy appearance. It often happens that the injury is to leafage only, and the twigs remain uninjured. Such trees, however, bear no fruit the following season. The resistance of branches to become frozen, is less and less as the branch decreases in size. Large branches are injured only by intense cold, and the top of a tree may decidedly be killed back by a freeze before the large branches are affected. The exact degree of injury to the twigs and branches cannot be determined until some time after the freeze occurs. No part of the tree can withstand as low of a temperatures than the trunk can. As with the branches, the trunks resistance to freezing is in direct relation to its diameter. In treating trees severely injured by cold, three courses are open: (1) Leave the tree alone, (2) cut the tree back to the ground, (3) cut the tree back part way. Everything considered, leaving the tree alone is ALWAYS the best plan. For some time following freeze injury it is IMPOSSIBLE to determine how much pruning should be undertaken. If cut back to the ground, more of the tops may be removed than necessary, and if headed back part way they many have to be pruned all over again later in the year. There is NO NEED FOR HASTE, nothing can save trees, or parts of trees, that have been frozen. Much expense, labor, and uninjured wood will be saved by waiting until the exact extent of the injury can be determined, and this CANNOT be decided until growth starts. Cold damage usually occurs in December, January and February, and new sprouts do not arise from uninjured branches until spring growth begins. If the injury is severe it may be much later. When shoots have grown far enough to make it reasonably certain that the branches will not die back further, is soon enough to start the pruning. Only when the tree has been so severely injured as to leave but little of the trunk, it is best to cut it off at the ground. But on the other hand, if a considerable part of the trunk remains uninjured, the upper portion only should be cut away. The best place to cut is well below the line of division between the sound and the frozen wood. However, this point is not easily determined, and the best plan is to always wait until sprouts have grown out, then start work promptly. Cut back below the uppermost sprouts on each branch or trunk where they are healthy, strong, and vigorous. A few inches more or less does not matter. What appears to be sound uninjured wood, may develop shoots which die back later in the season, making it necessary to go over the work a second, or even a third time, which is expensive. Much of this additional labor, AND SOUND WOOD, can be saved by waiting, and by cutting back sufficiently at the first pruning. Good luck to this tree. - Millet
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  4. lpettis1

    lpettis1 Member

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    Thank you for the information, however, I am not talking about my citrus trees. They managed to get through without any damage. I'm talking about various types of plants, crotons, lillies, hibiscus, cane begonias, etc. They are considered native to florida and usually don't get frost on them. I know some of them I can cut back and they will come back in the spring. Just don't know if I should take them to the ground or cut back to the first split (Y) of the plant. I don't know the technical term for this. Thanks, Linda
     
  5. aesir22

    aesir22 Active Member

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    I would ask on a different board - maybe the Hort board, since this one specializes in citrus
     
  6. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Linda, why would you ask your question on the Citrus board, if indeed it did not pertain to citrus? You could have saved everyone a lot of time. - Millet
     
  7. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't matter , Millet, if the plants in question need addressing lets address the real issues here.


    To further answer the freeze issue, I would err on the side of caution and wait out the next 4 weeks... signs of growth are likely to be more imminent in Florida's climate than the far flung northern reaches as in Colorado or the reknown Provence of Beautiful British Columbia... oh don't forget about the 2010 Winter Olympics!
     
  8. lpettis1

    lpettis1 Member

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    Sorry everyone, forgot that each board had a different classification. Didn't mean to cause anyone any extra grief. However, when plants are frozen they are all in one category, Damaged from frost. It would seem that taking care of frozen or damaged plants would be a general question. Again, apologies.
     
  9. aesir22

    aesir22 Active Member

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    I don't think frost damaged plants fall into the same category. Apple trees will react different to citrus or onions or orchids. No harm done asking here (except poor Millet who wrote a good indepth response) but a downside is that posting here, a lot of individuals probably won't know the answer to a lot of questions as growing citrus is very different to other plants. Wouldn't want you to miss out on the right answer due to post placement!
     
  10. lpettis1

    lpettis1 Member

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    I seem to going in circles here. I thought this was a site for people to talk to each other on a common ground. It seems as though, I'm apologizing more than I'm getting answers. I would assume that we're expected to know more than the average person here and it's embarrassing and humiliating to be constantly told that I'm asking the wrong question in the wrong forum. My plants are shrubs, hibiscus and various other yard plants. My trees did not get frozen and they are not the subject of the frozen problem. But thanks everyone, I got an answer from someone else, and it is so simple that it amazes me. I thought I knew the answer anyway, just wanted confirmation.
    Thank you, thank you thank you. Please forgive me for asking the wrong question on the wrong forum, etc. etc. etc. Thanks to you especially for all the in depth answer Millet, I can still use the info because information is never wasted, and it will help me in the future with my new red navel trees I am rooting. Linda
     
  11. aesir22

    aesir22 Active Member

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    We do know more.......about citrus. I have absolutely no clue about shrubs, bulbs, other trees etc and how they react to freezing.

    I'm glad you found the answer you were looking for. The simple ones are always the best :) What kind of citrus do you keep?
     
  12. lpettis1

    lpettis1 Member

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    Thanks, I'm working on a red navel orange tree right now. Just cut a rooting from a tree that has delicious fruit on it and I am hoping to get an exact duplicate of this tree. I also have a tree that's suppose to bear 5 different types of fruit, but it isn't bearing anything right now. It was under a large scrub oak and it wasn't getting enough sun. I ask the neighbor to trim his tree and he did, so now it's getting about 80% of full sun. I already has new growth and is showing a little promise. I was thinking about putting a citrus fertilizer under the tree and water it as much as possible to hopefully produce fruit this coming season. Also have two kumkwat trees. Any suggestions on getting the multiple fruit producing tree to actually produce fruit would help. Your thoughts on the cutting would be helpful also. Very much appreciate all your help.
     
  13. aesir22

    aesir22 Active Member

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    In ground citrus isn't my specialty I'm afraid, though there are people who do know a lot about them. I think you need to get the fertilizer regime right, and not allow any grass around the drip line. Thats as far as my knowledge goes lol. But if it is anything like container citrus, it is just a matter of time and will set fruit when it is ready. There is a lot of info about chill hours others can provide - a bit advanced for me but might apply to your citrus, not sure!

    With the cutting...are you giving it bottom heat? I believe citrus cutting root better with heat.
     
  14. lpettis1

    lpettis1 Member

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    Oh no, I was responding to a private message and my answer was posted to frozen plants forum. Evidently, I'm not very good at using the site yet. I'm sure I will get better. I will copy and paste to the citrus forum. Thanks for the advice on heating the bottom though. I haven't heard this from anyone else.
     
  15. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Ipettis!
    Welcome to this forum! Please bare with us and continue to learn from and with us.
    I visited your State in 2001 for the Master Gardeners Confrence in Orlando. I was rather envious to see the plants I have to grow indoors being planted out doors everywhere. It was the first time I had been that far south, in one of the more tropical regions. Glorius! since I live in the far NW of the US and am not that knowledeable I can't be of much help to you, but there are many people on this forum that can! Don't give up!
    Barb
     

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