Frost bitten Citrus trees in AZ


Old 02-23-07, 01:27 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: AZ
Posts: 24
Unhappy Frost bitten Citrus trees in AZ

I live in Arizona and over this last winter we had a solid 4 days of hard freezing tempertures. I lost all the leaves on my citrus trees, they are completely bare except for the left over citrus. I did have a citrus tree a few years ago hit from a freeze and the leaves only budded out at the tips of the branches. It has never filled in properly nor does it bare fruit. Everyone here says to wait and they never say how much to prune. Or they will say wait until it starts to budd out then cut from that point on. What has happened to me is when I wait it will bud out only at the tips and then I fear cutting the tree to much and I will kill it. I see that there are a few buds starting to pop now. Is it safe to cut a citrus tree over 30%? I have had these trees for 9 years and I dont want to lose them, but I do want them to fill in. Hope this makes sense...

Thank you.
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Old 02-26-07, 01:58 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Denaluu,

Sorry to hear about your frost damage. The advice you were given is correct. You should wait to see what the trees do before you take any corrective measures. The more you prune citrus the more you will have lush growth that will attract insect pests, especially to an already stressed tree.

Trees often take 2 years or more to recover from such a trauma, and may never recover at all. There isn't much you can do but assure optimum growth conditions with good watering practices and a topdressing of an inch of compost around the roots, but not against the trunk. You should find this helpful.

Old 02-26-07, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
As an aside, I lived in Florida many years ago. I watched the growers uproot and burn thousands of acres of orange trees that were irreparably damaged by frost. Sometimes you have to start over.

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