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Brrrr, It's Cold in Here: The Top Signs of Cold Damage to Your Lemon Tree

Is your lemon tree suffering from cold damage? Cold-damaged lemons can be rendered inedible. Read below to discover the top signs of lemon tree cold damage.

Citrus trees don't like the cold, so if you're interested in growing a healthy lemon tree, you need knowledge of citrus tree nutrition and care. You also need to be aware of the signs of cold damage, which can hurt your fruit and even kill your tree.

Here are some signs of lemon tree cold damage to keep an eye out for.

Cold Damage Results in Discolored Leaves

Cold damage can be mild, or it can be more severe. When mild cold damage takes place, you may notice that the leaves on your lemon tree become discolored. Some leaves will be lighter green, others darker, resulting in an uneven, blotchy look.

Thankfully, a citrus tree experiencing mild cold damage will be ok if taken care of and if the discolored leaves don't need to be pruned. But take discolored leaves as a warning sign that your tree has been a little chillier than preferred.

Leaf Dieback Occurs

Prolonged exposure to the cold or frost can result in dieback of the leaves of your lemon tree. What this means is that larger portions of the leaves will turn brown and shrivel up as they are unable to thrive in the colder weather.

When left on the tree, the leaves pose a risk of fathering fungal spores or infection, which can spread to the healthy parts of the tree. Prune away any dead leaves after a cold spell to help protect your tree.

You'll Notice Dead Branches

A symptom of more serious cold damage is dying or dead branches on your lemon tree. These dead branches welcome fungus and bacteria growth, which can further harm your tree.

Lemon trees with dead branches need pruning when spring begins. Cut until the bark is green to make sure that no dead wood gets left behind.

Your Lemon Tree Will Experience Stunted Growth

When your tree is fighting off the cold and frost, all of its energy goes into preserving itself. This can result in stunted growth and lower production of fruit. Some lemon trees might not produce any fruit at all if they haven't been able to grow much during an especially cold season.

The Quality of the Fruit Suffers

A big sign of cold damage is seen in the quality of the lemons that your tree produces. If your lemon tree is producing fruit but the lemons are inedible, if the rinds are loose, or if the middles seem soaked, it's probably due to cold damage. You won't want to make all of your delicious lemon flavored recipes with fruit that isn't fresh and healthy.

Help your lemons stay zesty, firm, and delicious by providing your tree with the proper temperature and sunlight.

Growing Trees is fun, and every tree we send comes with a 20-page care guide.

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