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Growers Experience Minor Frost Damage on SO CAL Avocados

Calls have come in – “What is the browning on the avocado leaves?  Thrips damage? Salt damage?  Dothiorella?” Nope, Frost Damage. From the end of February to the first week of March, Santa Paula had one night of 30 deg F, and 3 nights of 33 and a few nights around 35..  It wasn’t cold cold, but cold enough that there was damage to the avocados there and more so the further east and up toward Ojai.It wasn’t enough to defoliate the trees, although many were under stress from the flowering that is going on and a lot of the leaves were dropping from the flowering stress.  The damage to the leaves is a darkening of the leaf both of the bottom surfaces.  In many cases, the flower panicles got scorched. This is just the start of a big flower push and it looks like there’s a lot of flowers that have not pushed that will be fine.  It could still be a good avocado year.  The coffee really got roasted. — By Ben Faber, UC Cooperative Extension

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