«

»

Print this Post

Protect Young Satsuma Trees

According to the National Weather Service a mild freeze is predicted for Northwest Florida this weekend, specifically Saturday night to Sunday morning. Washington County Horticulture extension agent Matthew Orwat says,” While mature, dormant Satsuma trees are cold hardy down to 14° – 18 °F, young trees need protection if temperatures dip into the upper 20s.”

satsuma__smaller_by_David_W_Marshall

Photo Credits David Marshall

Here are a few techniques to protect young citrus trees from late-season freezes:

  • Wrap the trunk with commercial tree wrap or mound soil around the base of the tree up to 2 feet. This will protect the graft of the young tree. Thus, if the branches freeze the graft union will be protected.

 

  • Cover the tree with a cloth sheet or blanket. For additional protection, large bulb Christmas lights may be placed around the branches of the tree. This will increase the temperature under the cover by several degrees. Be sure to use outdoor lights and outdoor extension cords to avoid the potential of fire.

 

  • Water your Satsuma trees. Well watered trees have increased cold hardiness.

 

  • Frames may be installed around young trees to hold the cover. This option keeps the blanket or sheet from weighing down the branches.

 

  • For homeowners with lemon, lime or other less cold hardy citrus, micro-irrigation is an option. This practice will protect citrus trees up to 5 feet, but must be running throughout the entire freeze event. For additional information click here.

 

  • Always remember to remove cold protection once the temperature rises so that the trees  do not overheat

 

  • Do not cover trees with plastic tarps, these will not protect the tree and can “cook” the tree once temperatures rise.

Please see the following publications by retired UF / IFAS Extension agents Theresa Friday and David Marshall for additional information regarding freeze protection of citrus.

 

 

 

PG

Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/02/15/protect-young-satsuma-trees/