Significant Frost Damage

brandon7 TN_zone(7)April 15, 2012

Has anyone else experienced significant frost damage on plants this year? A lot of the small trees I have out at my farm have had all their leaves killed. My crape myrtle collection is completely brown, and I'm not sure what to expect now. Most of my figs lost about half or a little more of their leaves. Most of the pawpaws were completely de-leaved. I think the only plants without any sign of damage are the lilacs.

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maternut(7 west tn)

No damage here ( Lauderdale County ), move west young man, move west.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Chris_in_the_Valley(z7 MD)

Oddly enough, here in the Seymour area nothing seems damaged, but Mom's house, 6 miles away, had some serious azalea damage. Maybe not so odd, though. We are in the middle of a bunch of ridges and the sun is well up before its rays hit the plants. Mom's on the crest of a hill and gets morning sun first thing before the air has a chance to warm up.. Did you spray your young trees with the hose before the sun hit them and burst the ice crystals in their cells?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:22AM
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Hey Brandon - sadly, damage at my house was just as you described. I'd so enjoyed my button bush last year and was looking forward to it this year, but the foliage is completely burnt looking. My fringe tree is about half, but the smoke tree and pendula parrotia (from Mark at the swap) were not damaged at all! Also looking bad are my sweetbay magnolias :-(

Like you I don't know what to expect now - hope they'll recover for the season.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:09PM
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None noticed in Knoxville. The winter was fairly mild.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:42AM
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midtn(7a TN)

Got down to 32F in my neighborhood during that last cold spell. Everything pulled through fine even the banana plants which are very frost sensitive. I have quite a few larger trees in my yard now and I find that I have much less of a problem with close calls than my neighbor who has no big trees. Everything should be fine unless it got down below the mid-20s. Most plants can handle having their leaves knocked back. You just hope it doesn't get cold enough to kill branches outright. I know a few years ago in some areas it got down into the teens after the Japanese maples leafed out. Killed some of them to the ground.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Similar here (Robertson County). My Natchez crape myrtle & laceleaf Japanese Maple both got hit pretty hard. The myrtle hadn't set and flower buds yet, so I'm hopeful that it will still flower this year. Not really worried about the plant itself--hard fella to kill. :-)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 11:35PM
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I live in Cumberland County, I have about 100 plus crepe myrtles lining my 1500 ft driveway. In the white,pinks,purples,reds..early warm temps & rain made the leaves grow early this yr. Everyone was beautiful but after the frost I have nothing left but brown burnt leaves-all the leaves were destroyed. I'm not sure whether to go thru & take off the dead leaves in hopes they will grow again this yr or if they will do anything now. It sure isn't a pretty site I can tell you that.
Any info or help as to what to do is apriciatted.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:39PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

There really isn't much reason (except maybe for looks) to remove the dead leaves from your crApe myrtles. They should fall off given a little time. If your plants were well established, they should leaf back out and be fine. Depending on how severe the temperature drop was in your area and how much new growth was present, you might see a little twig dieback. If your plants were recent additions, there's a little more question about what might happen, but I'd still bet they'll come through. Crapes are pretty tough, for the most part.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 8:06PM
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Brandon, thanks for the encouraging remark about the Crape's dead leaves falling off. Mine were well established trees but the tops of them got bit. They are in the front of my house so I was worried about the ugliness. The muscadines got bit quite a bit so probably no lush vines this year. I'm in McMinn County.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 2:14PM
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We have three crepe myrtle that have not bloomed this year, we cannot figure it out. has any one else had this problem? they seem to be blooming all over town. Thank you in advance,Gailee

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 2:46PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

My crApe myrtles are doing great. They haven't bloomed quite as well as in previous years, but they still have a decent amount of blooms (actually, one doesn't yet but does have buds). My collection is in a very open/exposed location too, so probably got blasted even harder than many others.

Are yours growing plenty of new foliage?
Have you fertilized them lately (and, if so, with what)?
How long have you had them in the same location?
Did they bloom last year?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 8:48PM
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