Sacramento homeowners, citrus growers prep for cold snap

7:09 AM, Dec 3, 2013   |    comments
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Freezing conditions in West Modesto, California.

SACRAMENTO - Sacramento-area temperatures are expected to plunge towards freezing as soon as Tuesday and locals are readying themselves for the big chill.

MORE: Cold and freezing weather safety advice 

Monday evening, a lot of people did what they could before the frigid weather arrived. Some hit the ice rink in Downtown Sacramento. Others picked out the perfect christmas tree.

In preparation for the cold snap, lots of homeowners are wrapping their pipes. One broken pipe can do tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

People are also moving some outdoor plants inside.

"We got all of our outdoor plants inside the sheds they don't get the freeze," said Jayme Forner of Carmichael.

"This will come inside," said Nick Forner about his potted palm tree.

As for the birds of paradise in his backyard, he's wrapping them up in bedsheets.

"I'll do my best to protect it and a little bit of it will be on its own," said Forner.

Covering your outdoor plants with a bedsheet or even adding a string of christmas lights can add a little warmth.

Meanwhile, local citrus growers are rushing to beat the frigid temperatures.

At Mandarin Hill Orchards in Loomis, growers are picking as much of the ripened fruit as they can ahead of the big freeze.

Mandarins are more susceptible to the cold weather than other citrus fruits like oranges because they are more delicate. If the temperatures drop into the 20s, the crop is at risk of rotting.

"The cold gets all the way through the mandarin, and as water freezes it expands and pops the cells, and then they rot," said Tom Aguilar of Mandarin Hill Orchards. "Right now we are about half way through the harvest, so yeah, that could be quite devastating to a lot of growers out here."

If you have citrus trees you should water and saturate the soil around the base now and during the cold snap also cover the crop with a sheet to keep in the warm air.


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