Protecting Fruit Trees in Winter
A professional arborist, John Sulzbach of Killingworth, CT, received his license from the state in 2013. John Sulzbach of Killingworth, CT, now helps clients care for their trees through his independent business, Proper Tree.

Even the hardiest of fruit trees can be susceptible to freeze damage during harsh winters. Below-freezing temperatures can kill off flower buds and younger shoots, as well as the trunks and roots of trees. A layer of mulch can help to protect roots, particularly those that are closer to the surface.

Wrapping trunks and lower branches with foil, burlap, craft paper, or trunk guards can serve as an effective defense against sunscald, a phenomenon that occurs when a tree trunk thaws on its sunny side and remains frozen on the shady side. This cracks the bark and can cause wounds that threaten the health and life of the tree.

Protection of shoots, twigs, and buds, by contrast, requires attention during the growing season rather than active shielding during the winter months. Growers should take care not to use high nitrogen fertilizers in late summer and early fall, as well as to cut back on or stop irrigating the tree before mid-fall. However, if a breed of tree is particularly susceptible to freeze, it may be wiser for the grower to choose a different variety more suited to the local climate.
Protecting Fruit Trees in Winter
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Protecting Fruit Trees in Winter

A professional arborist, John Sulzbach of Killingworth, CT, received his license from the state in 2013. John Sulzbach of Killingworth, CT, now h Read More
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