With weather patterns changing every year, it is more likely now than ever that late frosts occur during the spring. Last year spring temperatures spent quite a bit of time in the 30s and 40s leading many people to wonder about the health of their trees and flowers. At Keil Tree Experts we are here with to help. We provide tree service in Lutherville, and the surrounding area. The good news is that in most cases, a late frost will not damage too many tree buds, but the timing of the frost and the temperature plays a large role.

Spring Frost Damage to Trees

Frost does not become a problem until tree buds start to grow or new shoots and leaves are popping up on trees. Freezing temperatures at this point can cause the new growth to brown and sometimes slow in growth. While not aesthetically pleasing, Brett Cregg of the Michigan State University Extension says that the actual tree will not sustain much damage. Therefore, while not as pretty to look at, your tree or shrub should come back just fine the next season.

Spring Frost Damage to Trees with Fruit Buds

The problem becomes a little more evident if you are worried about trees with buds that will eventually turn into fruit. Fruit trees have a different threshold for late frosts, and in some cases, a late frost can impact the fruit crop from the tree. Cregg states that as the fruit buds become more developed it does not take as low as temperatures to damage them. Near the blooming stage buds are at their most vulnerable. A temperature of 28 degrees Fahrenheit will be low enough to damage about 10% of the fruit buds and reduce yield. A drop to 24 degrees Fahrenheit is enough to result in a 90% loss. Large fruited trees such as apples, pears, and plums will generally fare better than smaller fruited trees like grapes and cherries.

What Can a Homeowner Do About Tree Damage?

First off, a homeowner should wait before they worry too much about tree damage. Generally, it takes at least several hours, if not days, after the frost passes for buds to thaw so damage can be assessed. If you are concerned about damage consult a professional tree service in Lutherville, like Keil Tree Experts. We examine trees for damage from the frost, and if necessary offer direct root fertilizing services which can help a tree recover from winter damage. Contact us today for a free estimate.