When thunderstorms meet winter

In December of 2022 we had unusual warm spell come through for a couple of days and we actually got thunderstorms in the middle of winter. The storms brought hail with them and two of my young asian pear trees got beat up. Two days letter when the temperatures dropped back down to freezing, those fresh openings got frost bite.

That next spring those two trees looked like they had leopard spots all over them. I didn’t think about the hail and was sure it was some kind of disease, maybe fireblight. I sent samples of the tree to the Iowa State University plant diagnostic lab and they confirmed it didn’t have any diseases, but that it was actually tissue damage. Likely from hail, ice or debris damage. Then I remembered the hail.

Anyway I was just checking on those trees today and it reminded me of that so I thought I would share. The trees are doing great and producing fruit now, but they still have visible scars from that event 2 years ago.

Anyone experience similar damage before?


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That was a bad hailstorm for sure. I hope the trees recover OK.

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Yes 17 year cicada infestation.

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I’ve heard Cicada’s can do some serious damage. Are you in the path of this year’s double emergence of the 13 and 17 year broods? Could be a tough year in that regard. I think I’m far enough west to miss it.

That was a bad hailstorm for sure. I hope the trees recover OK.

Thanks the trees are doing much better.

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mine hit 2 years ago

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I get little hail damage but more than make up for it with the cicadas. It takes several years before the damage is mostly gone. I had cicadas three years ago and I was still working on pruning out wood they messed up when I did my recent winter pruning. Fortunately after enough years it starts to all blend in.

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