The Q&A Archives: Frost Damage

Question: We had a late, few evenings, of frost after the new tender buds and leaves were on our trees and bushes. They got burnt badly. My Red bud Trees seem to be replacing the lost leaves but my cherrytrees have half the leaves and Crepe Myrtles are in bad shape. A few seem to be rebuding however the rest look dead and dry. Do you think by my pulling off the dead leaves, they will renew them or will I have to wait until next year for leaves and flowering. It is just so sad to see the damage to my beautiful gardens.

Answer: Late frosts are terrible experiences! However, I've found that most plants rebound and replace the lost leaves once they've recovered from the chill. As you've discovered, some rebound more quickly than others. Flower buds are the most sensitive so you may see fewer flowers this spring. You won't need to pull off the dead leaves; they will be pushed off when the new leaves develop. Wait 2-3 weeks and check you plants again. Anything that is obviously dead can be pruned off. Since crepe myrtles bloom on new shoots, they should flower for you later this year. Let's hope the late frosts are over for the season!

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