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Freeze Damage to Blueberry Buds

The early November (2014) freeze could have reduced crop load. The pictures included in this post are of ‘Star’. When scouting your berry patch, if you notice buds that are not swelling, this could be an indication of freeze damage. Take a knife and cut the bud in half. If the bud looks green around the edges with necrotic or black

Close up photo of freeze damage injury within a blueberry bud.

Close up photo of freeze damage injury within a blueberry bud.

Note the black spots in the bud. This is freeze damage and the ovary is dead

Note the black spots in the bud. This is freeze damage and the ovary is dead

spots (See image). This is an indication of freeze damage.
Cold tolerance is aided by potassium (K) sometimes known as potash. Potassium is very soluble and may not be available to the roots, which makes soil and tissue sampling an important tool for minimizing tissue damage from freezing temperatures. See your county agent from information on tissue and soil sampling.

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About Erick Smith

Dr. Smith has an 80% extension and 20% research appointment in fruit production for southern Georgia. His responsibilities include providing leadership to the blueberry educational programs of southern Georgia. He assists county extension agents and commercial blueberry growers in production oriented material. His research interests are focused on plant nutrition, blueberry establishment, and production improvement. In blueberry and other commercial fruit crops, Dr. Smith is working to research and educate through collaborative efforts that include, but not exclusive to, leaders from the fields of plant pathology, entomology, physiology, and engineering to bring a rounded approach to problem solving.