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Tree Care: Tree & Plant Frost

Frost Damage Recovery FAQ

What's the first step I should take?

We recommend immediately applying Supercharged Moon Juice to all trees and plants whether they’re showing major or minor damage as frost damage is not always visible. Supercharged Moon Juice accelerates the recovery process by increase the uptake and retention of moisture and nutrients. It also helps stimulate the growth of root hairs, new stems, and foliage. If you already have some, be sure to begin applying it; if not, Supercharged Moon Juice is now available for online ordering & delivery.

When should I fertilize and what should I fertilize with?

Right now is an excellent time to fertilize, and you should continue to fertilize throughout the spring. Fertilizing will help recover all of your trees and plants, even those that may show no visible signs of stress but that had a tough time making it through the freeze. Our All-purpose Moon Dust fertilizer should be applied monthly from March through October. Supercharged Moon Juice should be added to this regimen, and applied frequently to help recover from the freeze.
Note: Super Palm Juice can be used on all frost-hardy palms now, and for more frost-tender palms (such as pygmy palms) should be applied in March. Super Palm Juice contains the micro & macro nutrients palm trees need to recover from the frost and regain their strength for the summer.

When do I prune?

It’s best to avoid any pruning until the last chance for freezing conditions has past, which is usually around mid-February to early March (meaning we’re out of the potential times of the year for freezing).

What happens if I already have/do prune now?

If you prune now, the healthy part of the plant can be exposed to the frost, and will, with future frost exposure suffer enough damage that it may not recover. Also, the damaged foliage acts as a protectant from the sun while the plant/tree is recovering.

How much do I prune when I can?

You should prune dead material only, so whatever is gray/brown in color (branches/wood) should be cut. Any leaves that are black, purple or otherwise strongly discolored should be removed

What do I do about wilted leaves/branches?

If a leaf is strongly wilted now, it will turn color in a few days to a week, and you should still wait until March before trimming. Plants will drop old, dead growth to push new, fresh growth.

How do I know if it's dead?

Tell-tale signs of a dead tree or plant are:

  • No visible green in any trunk or branch
  • No sign of any new growth in the coming weeks (the plant maintains or degrades in shape/color)
  • The tree or plant in question has a pumpkin-like or rotten fruit odor
  • Keep an eye on your tree in the coming days and weeks. If wilted leaves do not begin to drop on their own, that's a sign that the tree will not push new growth, and will need to be replaced.

When can I plant new trees?

Trees & shrubs that are considered frost hardy can be planted now. Frost-tender trees & shrubs should be planted no earlier than mid-February when we’ve been subjected to the kind of frost we’ve just been through. Bedding flowers can be planted now, and we’re bringing fresh shipments in weekly.


The answer to this question varies heavily on what part of town you live in, so it’s best to check with your local nursery, as our certified nursery professionals are familiar with the different microclimates across the valley and what traditionally does where. They’ll help you make choices based on the size, function, and style you’re looking for, and will be able to recommend cold-hardy varieties that will suit your specific needs.

What do I do with my frost cloth?

Do NOT throw it away. Frost cloth can and should be reused for many years. Let it air-dry, and then roll it into a tight roll or fold into a neat square and place it in a cool, dry environment. Avoid putting it in hot places during the summer (like garages or attics) to avoid it from drying out. Properly storing frost cloth will usually let you reuse it for years to come.

What should I do about my lawn?

The answer to this question depends on the type of grass that makes up your lawn. If you are using:

  • Bermuda Grass - do nothing, it should come back on its own. Although applications of Moon Royale and even Moon Green can help expedite this process
  • Rye Grass or Overseeded Rye Grass - Fertilize with Moon Royale now and water to a depth of 3-4 inches. Do NOT use weed & feed type products – these will put considerable amounts of stress on the lawn and prevent it from regrowing.

How do I know if my Citrus/Fruit is OK?

The fruit is OK if it’s not mushy or split, if the fruit looks fine it should be perfectly safe for consumption.

Note: Before a forecasted freeze, pick the fruit off of your tree. This will not only keep the fruit safe but help the tree conserve the energy it uses holding on to the fruit for surviving the freezing temperatures, thus increasing the likelihood of survival.

Can I spray a fruit inhibitor on Olive Trees (or any other ornamental fruiting trees)?

Do not use any fruit inhibiting sprays as it can interfere with the new growth of trees and plants. Freeze damage often limits fruit growth so there won't be a need for such products.