Spring is green in the literal sense. Everyone is welcoming spring after a difficult winter, including the trees! I have seen many tree buds bursting into leaves. This is also the time of year I receive countless e-mails and phone calls, asking; "If we have another frost, will it hurt my trees?"
My answer... Yes. Tree leaves will surely be damaged by the frost, especially trees that are not native to this region. What can you do about it? Very little. The best thing you can do for your trees that are damaged by the frost is care for them throughout the whole year to ensure the tree is in optimal health to deal with things like frost, insects, fungi, lawnmowers, air toxins, and yes the list continues. Trees are rather resilient when you think about how many challenges they face in their lifetime.
Plants, if small enough, can be covered with a bucket or flower pot of some sort for minimum protection from an overnight frost. I have even witnessed a neighbor using a quilt for her shrubs. This is another instance where natives shine. One of the benefits to growing native plants is they are used to this crazy Missouri weather, even if we aren't. They have had, literally, hundreds of thousands of years to practice.
Also, keep in mind frost does not need freezing temperatures to build! Frost in low lying areas can occur in the upper forties! I have seen frost on our turf when the thermometer read a mere 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
I am often guilty of forgetting there are multiple perspectives, so for those of us that are worried about the frost, let us not forget to take a moment and enjoy it! Fresh morning frost is a beautiful sight as the sun burns it off, turning it into a gas form, and watching it rise from the ground to the sky as the morning speaks to us. Have a great week and get outside as much as you can!