Texas citrus growers are finally able to assess the damages from recent winter storm

The damage from the recent freeze in Texas is enormous. Members of the ag community are only now able to assess some of their losses.

These rows of citrus trees were, just months ago, like a paradise. Green, vibrant, and full of fruit. Then the freeze and its aftermath.

According to Texas Citrus Mutual’s Dale Murden, “Two weeks into it-- typical Texas weather, we were back into 90 degrees and hard southeast wind blowing. The remainder of the crop that was on the tree is now falling off the tree and we’re defoliating our leaves and what not.”

Even household plants and trees are destroyed.

“It looks like a lot of the homeowners are going to lose trees,” Texas A&M Agrilife Extension’s Omar Montemayor explains. “A lot of the landscaping plants on many, many homes, we’re looking at 100 percent loss. So, the damage was pretty widespread.”

When you look at the row upon row of brown, destroyed citrus trees, it makes you wonder how much damage has been done and what of this can be salvaged?

Murden states, “Tree damage looks like it’s pretty much centered, at least for mortality, going to be centered around the young trees.” He says that this will even affect next year’s crop and a number of the newer trees will not make it, but he says that there is promising news for some of the older trees.

“The older trees, I’m starting to see a sprout and a flush. What that means is, we’ll still have to cut the tree back to a certain degree,” Murden adds. “Which will slow down the production of next year’s crop, if we even have one, but I mean, I guess the good news is it doesn’t look like the old trees, for the most part, are going to die.”

Texas Citrus Mutual insists there will be a comeback: “Be patient and remember us when we get back on the shelf. You know, hopefully, maybe we get back in a small way next year, and then rebound fully in the year following.”

He goes on to say that he counts on the consumer to like his product.


Ag losses in Texas following devastating freeze are estimated at $600 million, according to one expert

Texas ag sector hit hard by sub-freezing temperatures

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Ag Commissioner Sid Miller on ag conditions in Texas following winter storm

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