How to Protect Citrus Trees From Frost

Views: 18778 | Last Update: 2009-02-04
To protect citrus trees from frost, keep the tree potted in a garage during the winter, or cover the tree with blankets and plastic wrap during a freeze. Shelter citrus trees from cold using double insulation during hard freezes with instructions from a... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to protect citrus trees from frost. Now, citrus trees are pretty much any tree that's a lemon, lime, or orange, and they can handle a lot of cold temperatures. Really, they don't want to go below 50 degrees. So when you're growing any type of a citrus tree, you do not want to let them freeze at all because you'll lose them. They can handle a little bit of a cold temperature, as long as they're protected, but there are some easy ways that you can protect them. The easiest way to protect your citrus tree is to either put it in a pot where...if you live in a cold climate and just store it in your garage or your greenhouse or any type of building where it's not going to freeze solid and just keep it there for the winter. And then that way, it'll just go dormant for the winter and you can put it back outside in the spring and it'll grow again. And if you have a greenhouse, you can just leave it in the greenhouse year-round. Well, if you live in a warm climate where it doesn't freeze generally, and all of a sudden, there's a forecast for freeze, you just go into panic mode. And there's a few tricks you can use to protect your trees. First of all, the easiest way to protect your tree is just to wrap it in plastic or bubble wrap. Or if you can get large Styrofoam trays or big boxes -- sometimes a big TV box -- or anything that you can put around your tree to protect it and insulate it because it's amazing. Just by throwing a sheet over it, it will stop it from freezing if it's just a little bit below freezing. It'll just give it a little bit of a cover. So even using an old sheet, an old blanket will make all the difference. You can always light candles or light fires around it just to keep it warm around the tree, or even putting a fan out. Sometimes I...putting a fan out, it'll move the air around and will keep it from freezing. Or if it's a small tree that's near the house, sometimes a little space heater just for an hour at night when you're just barely freezing will make all the difference. Sometimes even putting a heat lamp or a light bulb or a light out near where the tree is and put it on the tree -- just by having the heat of the light, it'll stop it from freezing and you can protect it. But if it's freezing really, really hard, you're going to have to at least double insulate it. That's the key, too. If it's barely freezing, one layer will help. But the trick with even a little bit harder freeze is that double insulation. If you put a blanket and then plastic over it or if you have a sheet and then put another blanket over that -- as long as you have those two layers, it makes all the difference, just like when you're laying in your bed. Two blankets is so much warmer than one blanket. So you can save your citrus trees very easily just by using common sense and giving them a blanket at night.