Valley Permaculture Alliance

My guava tree was planted in late Oct and I found some brownish leaves after the winter storm passed by in early Dec. I have attached the photos of the guava tree leaves.

 

Is this the frost damage to the guava tree? If so, what should I do to cure it?

 

Thanks a bunch!!

 

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looks like frost damage to me...the plant should be fine...for now, put lots of mulch over  the roots. Cover with frost cloth if we get more freezes and once all danger of frost has past you can prune off frost damaged leaves and branches. DO NOT prune until all danger of frost has past. The damaged upper leaves now provide protection for the lower leaves. Removing them will leave the other parts of the tree suseptible to frost damage. I have heard that guavas can be killed to the ground during a freeze and then grow back in spring. This is why mulch is important.

I know this is probably silly, but I cover my plants when I know it gets to the low 40's at night. My area tends to have about a 3-4 degree difference between what the weather channel says and what it actually is. I have some out of season plants I'm trying to protect. Put a sheet on your tree at night or you can put some taller stakes up and make a tent. If you have babies, an old fitted crib sheets work great for my baby lemon tree. Good luck!

Good idea. Anytime it gets around 40 degrees, start being careful. Most areas away from the airport or down town are colder than the reported temperature.

My three tropical guavas looked just like that after the first frost.  And they were covered.  They are protected by my house to the north, and a block wall on the west and east from winds.  They have 4 inches of pine bark mulch.  Like yours they were planted in Oct.  Eventually all of the leaves looked like the ones at the top.  The Malaysian Red was a bit less sensitive than the other two but eventually succumbed as well.  All the leaves are still completely brown and dried out but still attached.  I continue to cover at night and hope the guavas spring back in the spring.  Two of them were weeping anyway from too little caliper and too much support at the nursery, so I will probably cut them back to half their original height in mid-January.  And later on we will see if there is growth from the stem or from the roots or if they are dead.  I didn't realize it but my yard gets 8-9 degrees cooler than Sky Harbor's temp which is the main reported one. 

As for the other tropicals:  My pineapple has died back though the core is still green.  The tops of the papayas were taken put by frost the first day.  I built a cage to hold the frost cloth off of them but damage done.  They will probably grow back in Feb.  My banana is still hanging in there.  My mango was unfortunately placed next to the east wall thinking it would provide a warmer environment...just the opposite.  My new block wall courtesy my new neighbor has created the coldest part of may yard...stays in frost until direct sunlight hits it.  Going to be my chill hour zone for 400 hour trees.  But I have to move my mango.  It froze 2/3rds the way down the stem.  But I think it will transplant now and grow back in Feb.  All of these were covered from day one.  I have cages now to keep cloth off of the direct top of the plants for all.  The loquots don't care about the cold and are looking good.

My guava tree was planted on the north side of the wall. I also noticed that there was frost on my turf this week even though the temperature was not reported to get close to freezing point.

Should I cover the guava tree with clothe every night until spring comes? Will that help?

Yes, cover it since it is already showing damage.

Will the guava tree die because of the frost damage? I just planted it late Oct this year.

Answered by Karis

My tropic peach guava in the front yard had all the leaves & small upper growing limbs damaged by the first frosts back in late November-early December. The leaves are totally dead & dried out. I expect it to start growing again however in warm weather.  The trunk looks good.  Got down to 30 degrees at my house near I-17 & Northern. Remember the temperatures are reported from downtown & the airport...the two warmest areas in the valley. Subtract several degrees up to 8 degrees the farther you are away from downtown. My pineapple guavas covered or left uncovered had no frost damage. My two Orinoco banana plants in front yard facing west covered with a wire cage & overhead plastic bag & the other by a cardboard barrel each night since it dropped into low 40's & 30's have no leaf damage. My pineapple plants covered in pots next to a south sun warmed wall had no damage from several frost nights, but then I moved them all inside. My small Sapote tree with just a cardboard barrel covered has no damage. The passion fruit vine I just bought & in full vegetative growth at the first freezes look bad. I hope it will grow back from lower branches that seem to be alive when the growing season starts again. The Manilla Mango looks great. Put a ladder over it & plastic & a blanket over it every night since it hit low 40's & 30's. No sign of any damage. The dragon fruit cactus sitting in a pot on east side of house froze out. The jujube tree that can take below freezing & very hot weather lost it's leaves, but looks okay in spite of a puppy chewing some bark off that I repaired. The gogi berry bush appears okay, but never planted it in the ground. All these plants were bought or planted during the hot weather or summer time. Keeping them alive under the searing heat was my biggest problem. I lost a half dozen banana plants from over watering & wrong soil with out good drainage. I found from where I grew bananas in Glendale about 10 years ago, the first summer & winter & young plants are the hardest time. After that first summer & winter, I just had to get out of their way, they grew so well & produced lots of bananas & the hot sun never fazed them. For the last couple weeks, the temperature has been above freezing as only dew on the grass when I would check it around 5:30 a.m.  I have 6 California gold & Texas Star banana plants in my bedroom under lights that are putting out new leaves. I took them outside a couple times last week. They are about 12 inches tall with about 6 leaves each. Bought them a couple months ago. Will plant them outside when the night temperatures go back up above 50. Have several mangos that I started from seeds during the summer. They are putting out new leaves every few weeks. I have one Mexican payaya inside that is looking okay. There were 3 in a pot & I separated them unfortunately losing the dirt from the roots on one. So it looks like it is history now, the other one lost it leaves, but ??? The one that kept all the soil on it's roots looks fine. I put it outside every day. Anyways, that is how it has been going for me this winter. So maybe this info helps someone .

Also remember, It can get down to 25 degrees in some parts of town. At my house near Northern & I-17 last winter I know it was down to 28, maybe a little lower. Bowls of water left outside froze solid. And my temperature gage registered 28 one morning I remember. Years ago, in October 1979 I remember it was down to 32 degrees by 10 p.m. at Northern & 67 ave. It got down to 25 degrees that night. Thank goodness, the temperatures have been gradually rising since those days. November is like October now. And December is like November used to be, maybe warmer. We had 25 degrees one weekend a couple years ago one night around my area & did much damage to the Ficus trees. So watch the night temperature forecasts & subtract a few degrees to be safe.

Yah, my new rule of thumb in my area is when they are predicting 43 degrees or cooler the cloth goes on. 

I usually leave half of each cloth staked down to the yard and when uncovering spread it out to dry in the mornings (for those who are around after 7AM when you can usually remove the cloth) which makes putting it back on and secured before sunset pretty fast---maybe ten minutes time for eight trees. 

I don't know about being thankful for the later and later harvests...oranges that were ready the last week of Oct. when I was a kid are now ready the last week of Dec.  And tree planting this year would have been ideal the first of Oct. but the month did not cooperate with its high temps.

As Powell notes a good rule of thumb is if they are predicting 40 or 40s the temps can go down to freezing by morning as the heat-island effect dissipates the retained heat.  Outer-lying areas have less heat-island issues but patios, buildings etc can do the same thing.

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