All Christmas tree species, especially early bud-breaking sources.

Photo by Chal Landgren, OSU.


Photo by Chal Landgren, OSU.

  • Freezing temperatures in the spring when new growth has started to appear

Signs & Symptoms

  • Browning or wilting of new shoot growth
  • Needles with a pale, water-soaked color or brown or red color, depending on degree of damage and species
  • Frost-damaged foliage evident within a few days
  • Some trees show damage, while others escape injury because of differences in bud break timing.

Where to Look

  • Trees that break bud early
  • Low areas or frost pockets where cold air collects

Similar Symptoms As

  • Botrytis

Management Options

  • Do corrective pruning, if damage is severe. Even if damage looks severe when it first occurs, most trees are able to recover.
  • Remove damaged growth during shearing.
  • On frost-prone sites, cull or avoid some species/sources.