Local trees in danger of dying due to freezing temperatures


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) — The song of spring is in the air, but recent freezing temperatures remind us we’re not out of the woods yet.

A local tree – the Japanese maple – could die Wednesday night when temps drop to the low 20s.

“If you look at this Japanese Maple of ours you see how the ends are now curling down. They should be growing up. Because the freeze broke the cells inside, they can no longer hold it up, they’re falling down. All these leaves are going to die in the next week or two,” said Patrick George with Heartwood Tree Service.

George said he planted this tree in memory of his son, so he’s doing everything he can to keep it alive.

“If you have a Japanese Maple, you want to get a sheet or plastic and cover them for tonight. If it’s plastic, take it off early in the morning because it will burn it even on a cold day,” said George.

But when it comes to peach trees, farmers don’t have the option to cover their crop to protect it from the freezing temperatures. Ron Edwards with The Peach Stand in Fort Mill said he has to take what Mother Nature gives him.

“The peach crop is going to be off by about half. That means you don’t need as many workers or as many baskets. It has a trickle-down effect on the entire industry,” said Edwards.

That’s bad news for peach lovers. With fewer fruit to go around, prices could be higher.

Edwards said he’ll also be out thousands of dollars.

The last time his crop was hit this hard, “Probably ‘07. It was so cold one night, it pretty much killed every peach out here,” said Edwards.

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