The weather forecaster March 24, 2016 was emphatic. As we were enjoying the early warm, sun-blessed spring days of 2016, he predicted there was going to be a hard freeze. Flowering trees were bound to be damaged, he warned, unless "precautions were taken."
Most freeze-managing advice is for commercial farmers; run sprinklers all night to keep the frost at bay seems to be the most popular solution. As a home gardener on the side of a Missouri limestone hill, with fruit trees scattered throughout my one acre, spraying is not a viable option.
Instead, I started by digging out old empty corn sacks and tied them over my flowering compact dwarf fruit trees. When I ran out of those, I plundered my collection of lightweight beach towels and blankets.
Towels are tricky to use because they can be heavy when draped over small trees. I tried to match the towel cover over branches that could handle the weight in a wind.
When I ran out of towels, I went through my closet and pulled out my spring jackets.
Frost notwithstanding, I do think I have the best-dressed fruit trees in the neighborhood!