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Can a spring freeze kill apple trees?

Posted by bassrow 5 (My Page) on
Tue, May 29, 12 at 23:10

Two trees, Enterprise on M-9 rootstock, were lost. Trees planted on either side, Crimson Gold and Galerina on Bud-9, are growing well, and actually are carrying some fruit. They were transplanted last year in a tall spindle arrangement, spaced 3 feet apart.
March weather was hot, with highs in the low 80s, followed by cold nights in April with lows in the low and mid 20s. They abruptly stopped growing around this time, when the buds were at tight cluster. There is a crack at the grafts. One of the roots sprouted new growth about a week ago.
Is it possible for the freeze to have killed the trees?

Other possible risk factors I have been thinking about may have been:
Spraying - dormant oil was followed several weeks later with captan. The captan was applied the afternoon before a cold but not freezing night.
Root injury- the area was "cleaned-up", raked and mulched. Perhaps surface roots of the M-9s were damaged.

I�d so appreciate any comments.
Here�s a few pictures. I can get a pic of the grafts if it would help

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can a spring freeze kill apple trees?

I've never seen death at tight cluster with these temp, ..around 10F yes.

RE: Can a spring freeze kill apple trees?

Check the roots for vole damage. Pine voles can girdle roots without being apparent above ground.

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