Frost and freeze
July 30, 2015
Frost cracks develop on the trunks of smooth barked trees due to differences in temperature. Winter sunlight heats the south and southwest sides of the tree during the day causing the bark to expand; when temperatures cool in the evening the bark contracts and splits.
Frost injury to leaves may be confused with anthracnose symptoms. Anthracnose is caused by a fungus and will have a narrow and specific host range. Frost injury may be more severe in low areas, and you may find it on multiple species including surrounding perennials, annuals and weeds. Trees with frost damage may have leaves that have been completely killed, while other slightly younger or older leaves appear normal.
Little can be done about frost damage; plants tend to grow out of the injury with time. Trying to cover plants to protect them can actually result in more severe injury where the covering touches the plant.
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