Southern Arizona is a prime location for citrus trees, as they thrive during the hot and sunny summer months. However, as mild as desert winters typically are, your citrus trees may still require a little extra care during the colder months of the year. Here’s a quick look at how you can help yours thrive.
Plant them in the right location.
In Arizona, citrus trees do best in agricultural zone 10a. In this area, the winter temperatures tend not to drop past 30 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in the Tucson area, however, you’re in zone 9b. Here, the winter temperature can drop as low as 25 degrees. You can still grow citrus trees in zone 9b. However, it’s best to place them in areas with good cold air drainage. Avoid growing citrus trees in bottomland areas and instead situate them on slopes. Bottomland areas in zone 9a, such as the Gila River valleys and Rillito Creek areas, should also be avoided. Lastly, choose an area that receives plenty of sunlight to help keep the trees a little warmer in the winter.
Acclimate the trees in the fall.
Starting in the fall, you’ll need to get your citrus trees acclimated to the cold weather by encouraging them to go dormant. Apply fertilizer with high levels of phosphorus and potassium, and low levels of nitrogen. Trees shouldn’t be pruned in the fall.
Cover the trees.
Keep an eye on the weather report. If frost is predicted for your area, bundle up your smaller citrus trees with burlap sacks. Alternatively, toss a few old blankets on them.
Provide adequate moisture.
A frost can last several days. During it, sprinkle water on the canopies of your fruit trees. The water will freeze and help maintain the temperature of the trees at 32 degrees, preventing leaf damage. The soil around the tree should also be kept moist.
Your citrus trees provide delicious fruit; you can thank them by providing the best of care all year-round with help from Complete Landscaping. Our certified arborists are highly skilled at diagnosing diseases, providing maintenance care, and pruning all types of trees. You can reach our landscaping company in Tucson at (520) 323-8918 to schedule an appointment.