Can dormant fruit trees drown?

Like much of the east coast Virginia has been inundated with rain the past year. Normally in Virginia ground saturation, water pooling and flooding is not an issue during the late fall, winter months. I know fruit trees can drown from too much water when they are in the growing season, but what about when they are dormant? I am starting to worry about the trees that I did not plant in raised boxes, some are starting to get pooling around them and more rain is forecast.

Possible, but less likely.

BWI airport has had over 70” at this point. I’m around 57” at my house.

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I don’t have any numbers or research to back this up but I think peaches could stand in water several and probably many times longer in winter than in summer. Root respiration is much slower with cold soil. If they didn’t drown in a wet summer it seems unlikely to me that they would drown in winter.


i agree with the above responses. It is an advantage to be metabolically dormant when deprived of oxygen.

my only qualm is if the floodwater lingers long enough to freeze around most of the roots. At 32 or below, water will have mechanical properties(apart from direct thermal properties), expanding as it freezes, which can crush/damage roots.
roots engulfed in a block of ice is a worrisome scenario.

Can dormant fruit trees drown? The short answer is “Yes”. Lost some pawpaws and a few others from north-facing dripline of an overhanging roof.