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Freezes

Trees killed by freeze

Row of Trees in a Citrus Grove Damaged by Freeze, 1895.

 

Citrus trees are evergreen flowering plants that require sub-tropical and tropical temperatures to survive. When temperatures drop below freezing for a prolonged period of time, citrus fruits and tree foliage can become severely damaged. Although the susceptibility to freeze damage varies according to the strain of fruit, age of the tree, and other climate factors, entire groves can be destroyed by freezes. In the winters of 1894 and 1895, subsequent hard freezes killed much of the citrus crop that had previously been centered on the St. Johns River watershed. These two consecutive freeze years pushed growers south of Ocala and forever changed the geography of the state’s citrus growing regions.

 

Frozen orange grove

C.H. Stokes, Orange Grove Damaged by Freeze, [1895?].