Frost on citrus. Treatment and prevention


When frosts occur , it is necessary to check the damage caused to the crop. These can range from very mild or imperceptible to severe, involving deep pruning or complete loss of harvest. Depending on the degree of affectation in the citrus, the recommendations are shown below.



 If the sour fruit damage by frost only occurs on the leaves, pruning should be avoided until the tree recovers foliar density. Once it has enough foliage, a normal pruning will be carried out.

With respect to the subscriber, irrigation doses or cultivation tasks, the same will be carried out before the frost. If the fruits are not commercial, it is convenient to proceed to their elimination in order to strengthen the tree.

Frozen orange tree


If the frosts deepen the branches that contain the shoots (known as bouquets), it happens that between 15 and 30 cm below the tip of the bouquet it will be dried or necrotic. As the drying process is lengthy, it is best to insure for a while until the affected parts are checked and prune them.

In this case, the subscriber will be split (it is usually recommended even under normal conditions). The spring fertilizer will be divided into two parts, favoring absorption by the tree and losses due to leaching or washing.

Irrigation will be reduced or divided in order to avoid root asphyxia.

Pest control will be exhaustive due to the emission of larger shoots by citrus, and therefore, greater notoriety in the detrimental effect of pests (mites, leaf miners and aphids).


 In the serious case of damage to secondary branches, production will logically be reduced or there will be no harvest. In the first pruning, dry or frost-necrotic branches must be removed. From here, it is necessary to wait for the summer, with the formation of new leaves. A “green pruning” will be carried out with sprout thinning and stump trimming.

As the size of the tree, as well as the woody parts have been considerably reduced, the subscriber must be proportionally reduced, and in turn, divided. In the case of irrigation, the same procedure will be followed. One tip is to avoid using mineral oils in winter.


 The seedlings that have been affected by a frost, can be recovered again with the shoots of the part of the graft that has not been affected by the frost. If the seedling has lost its variety, two questions arise, either proceed to re-graft at the right time or start the seedling and reinvest in a new one.

Source: José Serrano López. Regional Agrarian Office.

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