Gardening

Camphor frost

Camphor frost



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Question: camphor frost


the camphor tree when it loses all its leaves after a late frost -20 degrees in February it recovers or dies

Answer: frost camphor


Dear Ignazio,
in general camphor trees (cinnamomum camphora) are quite hardy, and withstand even the harsh climate without any problems, in Italy we have examples of monumental camphor trees, planting on Lake Maggiore, where the lake certainly makes the climate mild, but not avoid the presence of frosts, even very intense.
It is true that in general camphor trees, despite being evergreen, tend to produce many new leaves and shoots, between the end of winter and the beginning of spring; if during this period the frost was so intense, then it is understandable that your plant has been ruined; although it may be that the loss of leaves is not due to frost, but rather to other climatic conditions, such as drought.
In any case, generally, despite the delicate appearance of the foliage, camphor trees are quite resistant, and should recover after an unfavorable climatic event.
To encourage the development of new shoots I invite you to trim all the branches, or to prune them slightly, so as to remove any areas that have suffered from the cold, and also to stimulate the plant to reduce new shoots.
If, in addition to the cold, your plant has also suffered from drought, perhaps because it is grown in pots, the trimming of the branches will be useful also in this case, because it will stimulate the plant; however, check that the soil around the plant is not completely dry, and that it receives the right watering; in fact it often happens with young trees that they are treated with less care than they need: it is true that an adult specimen of cinnamomum camphora is well resistant to frost, drought and water stagnation. The same cannot be said of a young tree that has recently settled down, or even grown in pots: it may happen that it is necessary to follow the young trees that have recently settled down, protecting them in case of temperatures of many degrees below zero, or watering them also in the winter months, for at least 3-4 years after they have been planted. This is because a tree that has long been at home has a large root system, which makes up for the lack of water by widening to load it into the deeper layers of the soil; in addition to this, an adult tree is well adapted to the climate of the area in which it is placed and it is more difficult to feel the effects of temperature changes, whether it be frost or very intense heat.
Therefore, I advise you to prune the plant, and also to fertilize it, using a slow release granular fertilizer, specific for green plants; on the market you can also find special fertilizers to be used in case of stress, which stimulate the plant to recover after a period with adverse climate; these fertilizers are administered only once.