Survival of Patio Lemon trees - Knowledgebase Question

Utica, Mi
Avatar for hossross
Question by hossross
January 14, 2006
My neighbor has 3 lemon trees from your nursery that have remained outside since summer. They were very healthy looking and had set 10- 12 lemons per tree. For some reason they never were takin inside. The leaves are now brown but still attached, and it has been as low as 20 degrees F here for long enough that there may be freeze damage, not just frost damage. I would like to help them survive, what do you recommend?

Answer from NGA
January 14, 2006
Citrus trees love warmth so I'd move them out of freezing temperatures as soon as possible. Start by moving them into an unheated basement or garage for a few days, then gradually expose them to indoor temperatures. If you move them directly into a heated house from outdoors, they will go into more shock than they're already experiencing. Once you've got them indoors, place them in a bright, sunny location. Expect the damaged leaves to drop and the plant to look forelorn until it adjusts to its new growing environment. It should adjust with time and begin to produce new foliage. Best wishes with your project!

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