It is often an uphill battle when trying to protect your cherished fruit trees from the ravages of winter. It is very frustrating to lose your citrus tree’s fruits to frost and can set back months of hard labor in caring and preparing the tree. However this can be avoided by winterizing your citrus trees.
The most important aspect of winterizing your citrus tree is warmth and there are several methods that can be used to preserve heat. Water is, also, a valuable component in the process of protecting the trees from the harsh winter weather.
To achieve winterization of your citrus trees you begin by making sure the ground is hydrated. You use a rake with wide teeth and clear all the leaves, debris ad mulch from the tree’s base. Before sunset, you soak the ground around the tree. You water the ground before sunset, because when it is well watered before sunset it releases less heat. You should ensure the leaves are kept wet. You will also have to setup a sprinkler system to water the tree leaves continuously. This is done after the temperature falls below 37 degree Fahrenheit. What this achieves is that the ice insulates the leaves. Weak branches will have to be supported as the weight of added weight of the ice could make them snap.
When the weather gets colder, the next step to winterizing your citrus tree is to wrap them up so as to keep them warm. You achieve this by placing bamboo poles at each corner of your citrus tree. After securing them with twine by bending them in a pattern, you wrap the poles with burlap. Use a staple gun to secure it to the poles. After doing so, you add a heat source like Christmas lights which can provide enough heat to deflect frost damage.
As a precautionary measure, never use the sprinkler method and the lights method together. You can also plant your citrus trees in pots which can be placed on wheeled plant stands so that you can just bring them inside when the weather outside gets too cold. You can also plant hardy and early ripening varieties of citrus trees like Satsuma mandarin. They can be picked early before the cold weather sets in and there is a threat of frost. Incase your tree gets damaged; you will have to wait several months to prune until there is new growth which will show the extent of damage.
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