The Q&A Archives: My Tree Was Frozen

Question: I recently moved from Nebraska to Michigan. The family members who moved my tree left it in a van in the cold for three days. It dropped its leaves and nearly all of the branches are dead. However the trunk and some branches live, can I save it?

Answer: Plants can suffer frost damage and still live as long as the root system is still alive. Often frost damage can look bad, but the plant will push out all kinds of new growth in the spring. You didn't say what kind of tree, but resume the care you were giving it before moving. Keep watered, but don't fertilize until you see new growth appear in the spring. Leave any frost damaged leaves, etc. on the tree and don't prune. If you prune off what looks dead now, you might be pruning off viable tissue. I bet your tree will come back in the spring.

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