Texas Plants And Trees Suffered Serious Damage During Last Week’s Winter Blast – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Last week’s cold weather was a zone change. This area is considered to be the growth zone 8a. When temperatures dropped below zero last week, the coldest in over 70 years, our zone became Zone 6 (Kansas City).
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Aside from the trees, the last week delivered the coldest temperatures many of our plants have ever experienced. Many people choose plants that are native to South Texas. They did not fare well in the historic cold. Plants that are native to zone 6 or lower are likely fine.
The bottom line is that temperatures dropped below zero last week. There is a tremendous loss of plants across North Texas. For some guys it was disastrous. For example, in palm trees, it is likely to perish as a mass extinction.
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What should you do next Earlier this week, I spent the morning with Daniel Cunningham, aka The Texas Plant Guy. He accessed the damage he had done to one of his landscape clients through his company Rooted In. He patiently went through plant by plant, peeling off small snippets to examine the layer just below the layer of bark. If that layer had any green left, he would smile. There’s a good chance the plant will make it. If you want to walk around your garden in the same way, you can at least start by settling the butcher’s bill.
But the truth is, no one yet knows what survived the great cold of ’21 or not. Spring is just around the corner and many of our plants are ready to wake up. Your plants will let you know if or which parts made it through the cold. Many will likely get a severe cut; You could lose years of growth. DO NOT CUT ANYTHING BACK. No matter how bad it looks, wait until mid-March and we will have passed the risk of another freeze. The dead material on your plant is just protecting it from the cold.
Another thing I learned from Daniel the other day. If your plant is dropping leaves, that’s actually a good sign. If the plant was still alive, it would start dropping its lost plant mass and growing the substitutes. When we come in spring, you’ll want to feed, water, and love your plants to aid their recovery. It could take a few growing seasons for some of them to return to normal life.
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I assume that we will talk about this cold spell for a while. It will take a while for the real toll to show. When you need to replace a plant that has been lost to cold weather, it’s a good time to consider what to plant in its place. I expect severe cold spells in the future. I doubt we’ll go 70 years before we see a negative low. If you have a facility that can withstand the extreme weather stress of North Texas, your choices are limited. But it also reduces the heartache (and the cost).