Well Winter is fast upon us and you know what that means, another possible hard freeze in Tucson. We are in a La Nina cycle (according to weather guys) and this is the second year of it. It seams are weather patterns are set up for another hard freeze in Tucson. Lets all get ready by Mulching and Fertilizing our Tree's in Tucson.
As some leaves fall and others darken and harden getting ready for the cold, we can help in little ways to encourage our tree's health for next spring. Although little root absorption is taking place, help your tree store that last bit of food by watering heartily over the next few weeks. Also, if you do not mulch, consider it. Tucson has a rocky well drained soil meaning that moisture does not stay in the ground long. Help your tree by putting some organic material down (compost etc) to help aerate the soil and allow some micro organisms to flourish increasing the soils nutrients. You can also mulch, this prevents some evaporation and helps the capillary water stay in the soil for absorption. Mulching can also be a way of keeping your tree warm by creating a "blanket" for the roots.
The organic material you lay down also will be a better holder of fertilizers and nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and surfur should be added. Doing these things will help your tree rebound in the spring as new buds and growth begin to develop. If you are fertilizing Citrus focus on large deposits of nitrogen and potassium for good fruiting the following year.
Tucson is a difficult climate and our need to help tree's is part of living here. Lets do all we can and hope that the freeze of 2011 was really a 100 year freeze and that we do not see it again any time soon.