Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education
University of California
Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education

Why O Why, One Tree???

It's winter time and avocados and other subtropicals are prone to frost damage.  Little trees especially that haven't developed a canopy that can trap heat are the most prone.  So it gets cold and all the orchard looks fine, but there's one tree that doesn't look right and in a couple of days it really stands out.

Here's an example of a year old tree that turned brown and it actually looks like it was doing better than the trees surrounding.  It's bigger and has a fuller canopy..... or at least it did. 

But there's all the symptoms of frost damage - bronzed leaves and dead tips.

A week after the cold weather, there is already sunburn damage on the exposed stems.  See the brown spots on the upper fork?  That will soon turn all brown and dry up.

This is still a healthy tree with green stems, in spite of the burned leaves. Now is the time to protect the tree from sunburn damage.  This is what can kill the little tree.  Time to white wash it.

Why did it happen to this one tree?  Maybe it was a little bigger and needed more water than the surrounding trees. Maybe sitting on a rock and didn't have enough rooting volume for water. Maybe a touch of root rot (although the roots looked pretty good even for winter time).  And there were ground squirrels in the area.  Easy to bklamne them.

 

Listen to the sound of winter frost control

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwTJveN8cIE

 

And when freeze damage gets extreme

https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=16448

 

 

 

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 6:22 AM
Tags: abiotic (13), avocado (289), citrus (339), damage (24), freeze (10), frost (19), subtropical (2), winter (6)

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