Our area experienced very cold temperatures in January. What affects will the cold temperatures have on my fruit trees?


Our area experienced temperatures in the -20 to -25 degree Fahrenheit range in January. What affects will the cold temperatures have on my fruit trees?


The cold temperatures may have damaged peach and sweet cherry trees.

Peach trees are not reliably winter hardy in most parts of Iowa.  Temperatures below -18 degrees Fahrenheit will destroy the flower buds on peach trees.  Temperatures of -25 degrees or below may damage or destroy the peach trees themselves.

The flower buds on sweet cherries are slightly more cold hardy than those on peaches.  The flower buds on some sweet cherry varieties can survive temperatures of -20 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit.  Iowa gardeners should expect poor crops on peaches and sweet cherries this summer.  It is also possible that the trees themselves may have been damaged.  Damage may vary from dieback of twigs and branches to complete death.

On a brighter note, the cold January temperatures should not have damaged the flower buds on apples, pears, and sour (tart) cherries.  


Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on . The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.