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Frost Damage

What's With the Trees?

tree leaves with killing frost damage
Frost damage

If you live in parts of the Catskills, southern Adirondacks or eastern Finger Lakes, you might be wondering why you're seeing damaged trees in your area. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has received a number of calls recently on this very topic.

In fact, there has been widespread damage to deciduous trees in certain areas of the state due to freezing temperatures that occurred recently. In some places, brown hillsides are apparent due to the dead, curled up leaves which are falling off impacted trees.

The damage is mostly elevation dependent because of the freezing temperatures at the higher elevations and the fact that the leaves at the lower elevations were not subjected to a killing frost.

The trees have started to shed the damaged leaves and most trees should grow a new set of leaves, especially if normal precipitation occurs over the next several weeks.

In areas previously defoliated by the Forest Tent Caterpillar, this weather related defoliation will cause additional stress and may lead to an increase in tree mortality.

leaves with frost damage
Frost damaged leaves
brown hill of Catskills showing frost damage
Frost damage in the Catskills, May 2010

frost damage in American beech
Frost damage in American beech

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