Skip to main content

The Good and Bad News About The Freeze Damage To Your Plants.....

By this morning, one day after our 22 degree freeze yesterday morning the injury to some plants was clear.

Ash trees leaves were turning black

Close-Up of Ash Tree Leaves

Virginia Creeper vines were turning black

Iris Flower Stalks were wilted

Black Spined Prickly Pear Pad Buds and Flower Buds were turning black

Oak Tree Leaves were turning black

Grape Vine New Foliage and young fruit clusters were turning black.

The Good News About This Freeze Damage is that it is only temporary. 

If your plants were healthy, strong, and vigorous they should leaf out again in about 2 weeks. So continue to keep the soil around them moist but not wet. Over-watering these freeze damaged plants could result in further damage and even death.

The Bad News About This Freeze was that damage to young developing fruits is irreversible.

This was looking like a great year for fruit production on area trees. The favorable temperatures of the last 30 days resulted in heavy fruit set. The exposure to the freezing temperatures of the last few mornings has damaged the developing fruits. Within hours these young fruits may become discolored

and fall to the ground. Some damaged fruits like those of Peaches, Pears, and Apples may take several days to notice. However, if gently squeeze a damaged pear, peach or apple fruit they will not be firm but will feel soft. A soft fruit is a symptom of freeze injury.

Normally fruit trees only bloom once so so much for this years production. It is interesting that the freezing temperatures do not injure the young leaves but only fruits and flowers.

Photos and Narrative By:
Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

Trees That Please Nursery
A Retail and Wholesale Nursery
Serving Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, and Belen
Shade Trees, Fruit Trees, Shrubs, Cacti, Perennials, Gardening Advice


David C. said… least you weren't alone in the freeze, lots of low 20's to Bosque del Apache and Jornada, and frost most everywhere to almost Tucson. Great advice as always.

Popular posts from this blog

Weed Identification: Goatheads or Stickers

Goatheads ( Tribulus terrestris ) are native to Southern Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Goatheads are also called stickers, sticker weed, bullhead, devil’s weed, and puncturevine. Goatheads are easily recognized by their prostrate growth form, leaves with leaflets, yellow flowers, and stickers (Goatheads). If you miss’em visually then they will stab you painfully in the fingers as you work your garden, or stick to your clothing and shoes. Goatheads are the primary reason local bicyclists must get “thorn proof” tires for riding on area trails and streets. Goatheads have prostrate stems that radiate outward from one central point. Leaves are compound with smaller leaflets. Lemon yellow flowers form along the stems and fertilized flowers form fruits.   Fruits consist of several attached structures called nutlets (Goatheads). Each nutlet is a single seed that becomes hard or woody when mature. Each seed has two sharp spines that easily penetrat

Western Soapberry Tree

The Western Soapberry tree ( Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii ) is native to New Mexico. It grows wild from Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana westward through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, and Mexico. The fruit of the Western Soapberry tree is a drupe. Mature fruits are translucent, amber colored, and contain a black seed. The mature fruit without the seed will produce a good lather with water and has been used as a soap substitute. Fruits persist on the trees through winter. T he Western Soapberry tree can grow 1′-2′ annually reaching 25′-30′ tall and wide making it a good sized shade tree. Fall leaf color is an attractive golden yellow. Currently, there are no improved varieties of the Western Soapberry Tree. It grows well on the alkaline soils of New Mexico and is very tolerant of heat and drought once established. This tree is rarely affected by disease or insect pests making it an ideal specimen tree for your yard or landscape. S

Afghan Pine

The Afghan Pine ( Pinus eldarica ) is also known as Desert Pine, Eldarica Pine or Mondell Pine. Afghan Pine is native to low rainfall areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and southern Russia . In fact, when planted in areas of high rainfall (> 20” per year), it becomes susceptible to a number of diseases and rapidly declines. This problem has occurred in East Texas.   The Afghan Pine thrives in heat, wind, and tolerates drought. Afghan Pine must be planted in soils with good drainage like sand. It is not suitable for poorly drained heavy clasy soils. Afghan Pines are generally pyramidal or Christmas tree shaped in form when young   becoming more oval or irregular with age. The leaves of the Afghan Pine are evergreen needles usually found in groups of 2 per fascicle or sheath. Needles are shed after several years and make excellent mulch as they fall around the trees base.   It has attractive trunk bark that becomes dark and furrowed with age. Af