How to Protect Dwarf Fruit Trees From Freezing

Overview

Dwarf fruit trees made from a healthy fruit tree branch being grafted onto root stock. While dwarf trees won't grow more than a few feet in height, they can produce many pounds of fruit each harvest season, with an increase in yield each year. They are ideal for people with limited growing space and can even be grown in containers on a patio or balcony. Like most plants, dwarf fruit trees must be protected from frost. A late winter freeze will prevent a dwarf fruit tree from producing fruit for the entire season.

Step 1

Plant dwarf fruit trees at the highest possible elevation on your property. The cold air should migrate to the lowest point in the garden, and the warm air will rise to provide your plants with slightly more protection from frost damage.

Step 2

Cover trees with a tarp or fleece at night. A covering traps warm daytime air inside and keeps cold nighttime air from reaching the tree directly. If your fruit tree is still small and delicate, you may want to drape the tarp or fleece on stakes around the tree to prevent direct contact with the tree.

Step 3

Use a light bulb beneath the tarp or fleece if it is safe to do so. This is possible if your fruit trees are in a greenhouse, on a patio or in some other area where electrical cords can reach a light bulb safely.

Step 4

Wrap Christmas lights around trees and turn them on at night to provide some heat. Because Christmas lights are made for use in pine trees, they will not pose a fire hazard to your dwarf fruit trees, as other types of lights would.

Step 5

Move trees inside or into a greenhouse during frosts. When the tree is in a container, it can be transported anywhere.

Things You'll Need

  • Tarp or gardening fleece
  • Light bulbs
  • Christmas lights

References

  • UC Davis
  • Tree for You
Keywords: save from frost, tarp or gardening fleece, store in greenhouse

About this Author

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.