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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Effects of Frost on Rhubarb and Other Fruits

Posted by John Fulton -

With a significant frost last week, many are questioning the effects on plants such as rhubarb. Yes, frosted rhubarb does release a poisonous acid from the leaves into the stems, but it usually takes a temperature of about 28 degrees to cause leaf damage. With most area temperatures reaching a low of 31 or 32, we would not expect the leaf damage. Check for yourself. Rhubarb leaves damaged by frost will first have water-soaked areas around the edges, then those areas will turn brown or black. If this does occur, you need to pull the stalks and start over.

Effects on other fruits are similar. Most significant fruit production is not affected unless temperatures in the 28 degree range occur. Apples, peaches, apricots, etc. would all be in this same grouping.

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