Does a Late Spring Frost or Snowfall Damage Trees?

When spring arrives, everything greens up, the trees begin to bud and flower begin to bloom. However, winter may not be done yet. Just when you think the cold days are behind you, the weather could surprise you with another late spring frost or snowfall. Plants and trees might experience frost damage. But how much will this really affect the trees?

Some Trees Are Affected More Than Others
Trees that bud earlier and grow faster are less affected by a late frost than others. These trees include silver maple trees, lilac trees, crab apple trees, and linden trees. Other trees that don’t bud as quickly are not as tolerant of frost, such as dogwood trees, magnolia trees, apple trees, and flowering cherry trees. If you aren’t sure what type of tree you have, contact a tree service in Austin for more information about how a late frost will affect your trees.

Signs of Damage
When a late spring frost happens, leaves on the trees will turn brown and possibly fall off, but can have a second sprout when it warms up again. Other signs of frost damage include shriveled up leaves, dry leaves, and discolored leaves. The damage is usually purely aesthetic and the trees will bounce back throughout the season. While the growth may not be as productive as usual when there is a late frost, it shouldn’t affect the tree for any future seasons.

How to Help a Damaged Tree
There’s not a lot you can do once a tree has been damaged from frost, however, there are some things you can do to prevent frost damage before it starts. Austin, Texas tree services recommend planting a tree that will thrive in your climate zone, even if there’s frost. If you are unsure what type of tree to plant, contact a tree service company for help. If the forecast predicts a late frost, covering your tree in burlap and watering it right before the frost could help prevent severe damage. After a freeze, help your tree back to health by pruning all dead branches and fertilize the tree to encourage growth.

Late spring frosts do occasionally happen and are not something to be overly concerned about. If you feel your tree may have suffered severe damage and want more information about what to do, contact a tree service company in Austin.