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Warning About Weather Damage to Trees Newsletter



Because of the forecast of the dramatic change in temperatures, we want to make you aware of a possible condition that can be damaging to trees. This occurred in 1984 when we had a long and severe winter. The temperature predictions shown above are for the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but this scenario is possible in other areas of the country as well.
It is not the extreme cold that necessarily causes a problem, but situations where you have a rapid warming of the trunk after a dramatically fast changing hard freeze. This is most likely to occur when you have a bright sunny morning after a hard freeze. Trees where the eastern side of the trunks receive the direct sun are most vulnerable. The bright morning sun hitting the side of the trunk can cause rapid warming that can cause "ring shake", splitting or separating of the bark. In 1984 we had many days with hard freezes followed by bright sunny mornings. Many Live Oaks, Red Oaks and Crepe Myrtles suffered damage. We doubt this will reoccur, but it is good for people to be aware of the conditions that can lead to this damage.

We don't want everyone to run out and wrap their trees, but if you have a particular tree of concern, you can wrap burlap or some other opaque cloth materials around the trunk, not to keep the tree from freezing, but shading the trunk from direct morning sun thus reducing the likelihood of the rapid warming. Floating row cover works for most marginally hardy plants but would not work in this case because it lets light through. If you notice this "ring shake" or separating of the bark, call your arborist because there are things that can be done post freeze to minimize the extent of the damage.

To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in each Sunday 8am - 11am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show.The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

Please share this newsletter with everyone in your address book and all your friends on Facebook and Twitter to help me spread the word on organics.

Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett


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