Monday, December 16, 2019


This was a surprise.  It's the Meyer lemon tree.  It had some leaves that were frostbitten in the last freeze.  It didn't seem like that many when we saw it the last time.  But after some windy days recently...

...almost ALL the leaves fell off.  Yikes.  I checked the branches and a few outer ones are brown but almost all are green.  We are hoping it comes back.  Not sure why it suffered so much freeze damage when the other two were just as covered.  Maybe being on the end it was more exposed to cold winds, maybe the freeze cloth touched it more than the others, we're just not sure what the difference was. 

We're hoping that this will happen: this is the lime tree which lost some leaves in the same freeze but they are already sprouting back.  We cross our fingers that the lemon tree does the same thing.  We've got a plan in place for the next freeze (more on that in an upcoming post) and while we hope there isn't one, it's only mid-December, we know there will probably be a couple more before March.

Fingers crossed!


  1. I hope it survives, those are some great tasting lemons,

  2. Hopefully it will make it. Time will tell I guess.
    When you put plant cloth around your trees; put in your stakes and on top of each stake place a tennis ball (will help from poking holes in your cloth from the stakes) extending the cloth all the way to the ground to trap in the earth’s accumulated warmth.
    Use a frame or stakes to minimize contact between the cover and the foliage.
    An alternative to covering is to build a wooden framework covered in shade cloth, which protects trees against winter wind and helps keep the heat from the earth in place. Surrounding fruit trees with 5 gallon plastic pails of water also helps harness the heat to protect fruit trees from frost damage. These methods mimic the conditions that protect fruit trees when they are beneath building overhangs or near swimming pools or other bodies of water.
    Watering the tree really well before a freeze will help as well.

  3. Since it has mostly green in the branches, I think it will survive. In addition to the branches, you need to protect the graft area and the lower part of the tree. Pile up some mulch around it.
    My huge Meyer lemon tree got severe freeze damage several years ago in an 18 degree freeze. I waited until spring to see what was dead and removed it then. The interior of the tree was protected by the outside branches and that's where it has been re-growing from.

    Colleen gave some good information about keeping the branches from touching the cloth.
    I use 2-3 layers of covering to protect against this. I also pull the covering straight down, not close to the trunk, so there is a space of warm air from the ground. I hold the covering down with pieces of concrete and use clothespins to close up the coverings.

    It's predicted to be 30 degrees tomorrow night and 32 Wednesday night. I picked some of my citrus today but left some on the trees. My nurseryman said that the fruit can take a few hours of a light freeze without the fruit freezing. I'm going to check tomorrow to see how long the freezing temps will last.

  4. Here are an excellent article and video on Winter Protection for Citrus. They are by The Arbor Gate, a garden center and plant nursery in Tomball, Texas.


    How to Protect Citrus Trees from Winter Weather

  5. Oh let's hope all is well with the trees!


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