The Q&A Archives: Frost Damaged Mango Tree

Question: I'm afraid I wasn't able to bring in our small (4' tall) mango tree before a hard frost hit our mid-town Manhattan container garden. The leaves on the tree have turned dry and brownish-green and are starting to fall off. I don't believe the tree is completely dead, it wasn't exposed more than a couple of days, but I don't know if I should allow the leaves to drop on their own or if I need to prune the tree.

Answer: Mangos are tropical, as you probably know, so very frost tender. At this point, don't prune. Wait until spring and see if the tree leafs out on its own. You may end up pruning unnecessarily because plants that look severely damaged often have healthy root systems and will recover in spring. Provide bright light, sun if possible and keep soil consistently moist. Apply a balanced fertilizer in spring when new growth starts. Good luck!

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