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Homeowners may notice spring frost damage as trees start to bud

  • 4/9/2024 12:42:00 PM
  • View Count 2101
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Iowa’s early spring warm up followed by the return of below freezing evening temperatures were a shock to many trees. Some trees experienced frost damage to their newly emerging blooms or shoots.

Homeowners may see evidence of frost damage on trees that have started to bloom or leaf out.  The damage will likely not be severe and injuries won’t be lasting. Look for leaves or petals that are wilted, shriveling and crispy, often with brown or black blotches around the edges. Some leaves may turn completely brown. Damaged growth usually becomes limp. New growth will push out the dead, damaged leaves and they will fall off naturally.

“Frost damage affects all trees in some way,” explains Tivon Feeley, DNR forest health forester. “It’s only a small setback for most trees. Healthy trees will recover on their own and sprout again later in the season.”

Good care during the remainder of the year, such as watering during dry periods, should aid the recovery of freezed damaged trees. Mulch around trees to help maintain moisture.