Hard freeze likely around area - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Hard freeze likely around area

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BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) -- With the early spring and warm weather most trees and plants have gotten a head start this year, and there is growing concern about what a hard freeze could do to them.

While we were soaking up the warm weather, so were the plants and because of the nice weather last month, anything growing is in serious trouble.

As March was feeling like late June, the plants decided to wake up early, and now parts of the plant that normally wouldn't be exposed right now are vulnerable to a freeze that is by no means out of the ordinary.

"Things that are there, the buds, it's the leaves that have already emerged will probably freeze off, but the trees and shrubs usually have secondary buds push out a leaf later in the year and if the initial leaf freezes off the secondary will come out later," said Pete Rupprecht of Garten Marketplatz.

There are a few things you can do.  There's the traditional blanket over the plant.

"Perennials if you have perennials that are up they need to be covered and the best way to cover them is cover them along the ground so they have the heat of the ground protecting them," said Sue Lantz with Garten Marketplatz.

"If you have a tree or a shrub that's tall you really don't want to cover it and keep it away from the ground like a lollypop, you want the blanket or whatever to drape over the ground. Unfortunately with the wind it is kind of tough to do that, but you want the heat that is in the ground to be up in the branches of the shrub also," said Rupprecht.

"Cause it's been so dry I would recommend that you water them first really well to give them a little extra insulation," added Lantz.

But with temps getting this cold with plants and trees this far along it may be a losing battle.

I'm told it is early enough in the year that if your perennials suffer freeze damage and lose there leaves, they will usually grow them back, but as you heard any blooms that are lost to the freeze will not grow back until next year, which is extremely bad news for fruit trees or anyone growing them.

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