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Citrus Tree Care
Introduction
Types of Citrus
· Orange
· Grapefruit
· Mandarin
· Lemon
· Lime
· Kumquat
Propagation
· Starting from Seed
· Grafting
· Site selection
· Planting
· Post-Planting Care
Care Tips
· Fertilization
· Cold Protection
· Freeze damage
· Pruning
· Insects & Disease
· Fruit Problems
· Potted Citrus
Links
Products for your citrus tree

Improve the long-term vitality of your citrus trees with a TreeHelp Annual Care Kit for Citrus including specially formulated fertilizer tablets, a mycorrhizal fungi treatment, and a biostimulant.
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Surviving a Freeze

Citrus trees are extremely vulnerable in cold weather and even the hardiest will need a little help surviving winter's bite.

For young trees under four years of age, the most effective method of cold protection is to bank the trunk up to a height of about 15 inches with clean soil. Soil is a surprisingly good insulator and can provide up to 15º F protection. It is also a good absorber of sunlight so make sure to remove any mulch or other material covering the soil. Bank your trees in the fall before there is a chance of frost and remove the bank in the spring after the last chance of freezing has past. Another helpful step is to wrap the tree trunk with Tree Wrap. This is an alternative to banking or it can be done in combination for added protection.

In the case of older, but still reasonably small trees, light winter sheet covers are an option. Simply drape the material carefully over the branches. If the freeze is extreme, several light bulbs can be placed beneath the cover or even a small heater. However, use extreme caution when placing any heating source under the cover. Heat sources should be kept away from both the tree and the covering material. The TreeHelp Cold Weather Tree Blanket is a good choice as a protective tree blanks because it comes in pre-cut sizes to cover an average size tree. The TreeHelp Cold Weather Tree Blanket on average can increase the cold tolerance of a tree by about 6 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit. Tree blankets should only be used continuously for up to 3 days at a time. If they are used for an extended period of time, they should be removed during the day to provide the tree with warming sunlight. Never use plastic covers on a tree to provide cold protection, always use a breathable fabric specially made for foliage protection.

If your tree has reached a size where a cover is no longer a realistic option, prepare for freezes in the following way: First, clear the soil around your tree of any mulching material to allow the earth to absorb sunlight. Several days prior to an expected freeze, enhance the heat absorption properties of the soil by irrigating the tree and the surrounding area. You can also spray the tree with water mixed with Wilt-Pruf to enhance the tree’s cold tolerance. Wilt Pruf, when sprayed on trees, forms an invisible film on the leaves and branches which helps to reduce cold weather damage.

A final option is sprinkling your tree with water during the freezing period. Place the sprinkler over the tree and begin sprinkling before the temperature drops to 30º F. The ice formed from the water will provide your tree with a degree of protection. However, you may have to accept breakage of branches due to the weight of ice formation.

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