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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So yeah. My mom went to her Master Gardener meeting last night. Those "in the business" are saying they haven't seen anything like this in 40 years. :eek:

My crepe myrtles are CRISPY. It looks like fall. :'( Word on the street is, they may not make it. Something about the sap getting pulled up into the young branches, coaxed up there by a month of warm sunny days, and then WHAMMO! Frozen in the stem. I haven't gone out and assessed the damage yet, but it doesn't look promising.

Also on the brink of crispy are my two formerly gorgeous Japanese Maples. I paid $10 each for these several years ago, right when JM's were gaining popularity, and nursed them into beautiful young trees. I will be majorly bummed if I lose these. :-\ The one by the house alone would cost at least $300 to replace at the size it is now.

The Rose of Sharon isn't doing well either. This is part of Crash's grave site. It was up the hill from this tree that we buried him. We have a dogwood now at his head, but I will hate to lose the Rose of Sharon. It was significant to me because it was blooming when he passed. :'(

Official word from the MG's is, don't do anything. Don't remove any dead leaves, as stripping the plants could further expose them and do more damage. Great. So now I have to look at skanky trees for the next month until I figure out if they have self-healed. :(

I remember thinking in March, "Wow, this seems really early for the crepes to be coming out..." Usually they are one of the last things to leaf out. It is late spring before you see anything from them. All those warm temperatures fooled them, and then the freeze got them when they were most vulnerable.

Well, most other stuff seems to be OK. The Aucubas took a hit, but I think they'll bounce back.

Sigh. Anyone else bummed out by the freeze? It was just freaky.
 

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Whoa! That's awful, Connie. :-\
We had freakishly cool weather here too (for Texas), but it didn't freeze so we're in the clear.
All of my pretty azalea blooms are gone now though. They're still alive and well,
but they don't have anymore blooms. I've been wondering if they'll bloom again or not.
This is my first year to do azaleas so I'm not sure.

I want some Japanese Maples. I have a perfect place for 2 of them.

Hey, look at this. I got 2 of them a couple of weeks ago. Aren't they freakishly cool?!

 

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I am sorry Connie. I know it is hard to look at, but yes just leave it all. I am sure it will all come away when the weather warms up.Plants are amazing things. Bit like our Labs.

I have the opposite problem. Too much sun and no water. While I have been sorting Ernie and seeing family my Black Beauty Pittisporum I planted for Kassy died.

Charla. Beautiful.
 

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Oh I can relate. We didn't freeze last week. For us in the SW desert it was about 2 months ago. The plants are just now starting to bud it has been so depressing to see everything with major freeze damage. We hadn't had a freeze like this in about 20 years. I am going to prune back the bougainvillea I planted 2 weeks prior to the freeze tomorrow. I think all the branches are dead but the main trunk isn't brittle so I am going to see if it will sprout. If not I will plant a new one in the fall.

We had horrible winds yesterday so I think I lost a large part of my orange blossoms so very few oranges next January.
 

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Oooh, Charla, I love corkscrew hazel. They do get really big though (not treel-size big, but way too big for a pot). I bought one last spring for our new home - had to leave a 15-year-old one behind at our last home :'(
 

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Here is the message I got from Purdue:

April 5, 2007
Freeze Damage to Plants

This spring's unseasonably warm weather in late March through April 3 encouraged many trees and shrubs to leaf out earlier than normal. Newly emerged growth is quite succulent and susceptible to damage from strong winds and below freezing temperatures.

Strong winds yesterday caused foliage and flowers of some plants to wilt. This morning, at home and on the way to work, I saw frozen foliage and flowers of daffodils, magnolias, iris (foliage), and tree lilac (foliage). I know there’s a lot more. And, we only had an overnight low of 29 degrees, which will likely be the “warmest” night until early next week.

With the predicted lows of around 20 degrees or colder the next few nights, emerging growth on some trees and shrubs will be damaged or destroyed. Based on past experience, damage will be severe on Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea), hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.), and magnolias (Magnolia spp.). The “smart” trees are the ones stay dormant longer – the oaks, ash, birch, walnut, hickories, and evergreens. The lush growth on many perennials will also be damaged or destroyed. Damage will be especially severe on astilbes (Astilbe spp.), ferns, hostas (Hosta spp.), and other numerous other perennials. I spent some time getting my face wind burned late yesterday afternoon covering our two rows of strawberries, emerging hostas and some other perennials with straw.

A few people may have been timely enough with lawn seeding that new seedlings have already emerged. I talked with Zac Reicher, Purdue Turfgrass Specialist, yesterday and he said he was more concerned about potential damage to the new grass seedlings from the wind, than the cold temperatures. He suggested applying more straw mulch over new grass seedings, if it is in an area that the wind doesn’t just blow it off.

Symptoms
Symptoms of freeze damage include shriveling and browning or blackening of damaged tissue. Damaged growth often becomes limp. Eventually, damaged or destroyed leaves may drop from the tree or shrub.

Prognosis
Fortunately, trees and shrubs have the ability to leaf out again if the initial growth is damaged or destroyed. Healthy, well established trees and shrubs should not be greatly impacted and will produce additional growth within a few weeks. Trees and shrubs planted within the past 5 years may benefit from an application of fertilizer. Give them some nitrogen when it warms up. I like to apply urea (46-0-0) on trees and shrubs. If you can’t find urea, any other high nitrogen fertilizer is just as good. A typical lawn fertilizer, something like 23-4-8, is good.

The prognosis for freeze-damaged perennials is also good. While the freezing temperatures should damage the perennial’s foliage, their crowns and roots should not harmed. Damaged perennials will send up new growth within a few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Charla, that IS way cool! If my mom saw that she would have to have one right away! :D She is all about some twisty trunks. I like them too, but Kevin has something against them ??? so I've never gotten any.

It looks like something out of Dr. Seuss, doesn't it? :D

Oh Chris, I'm sorry about Kassa's plant. I know how you feel. I thought of the Rose of Sharon as Crash's, even though I didn't really plant it *for* him. BTW, Pittosporum is a houseplant in our climate :) I've never seen one growing outdoors!

Karon, wow, I didn't think you all *ever* got freezes! Oh, the fruit tree farmers here are SOL big time. :( I will leave everything alone, but it just STINKS, because this is usually the prettiest time of year in the gardens. I swear the crepe myrtles don't look this bad in the fall. At least then they have color. Now they just look like big dead bushes.

But the Japanese Maples...I can replace crepe myrtles, but not those!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sue! Sue! That's really good news! Thanks! All of mine that were damaged are well established...the crepes are about thirteen years old, and the Japanese Maples are about 5 and 7. ;D I sure hope they do leaf back out.

We actually got down in the TEENS a few nights there! :eek:

Oh, I forgot about grass! Kevin had seeded in the weeks prior, so yep, we have seedlings coming up. Erk. I'll have to look and see how that is going.

You know, oddly, my Astilbes weren't affected at all. They are blooming very happily now. ??? My irises were in full bloom when the freeze happened. They were the only things we covered. Ha. That was a joke. All those blooms are shriveled now too. Oh well. I have another variety of iris that had not yet bloomed, so I will have those soon.

Sue, I forget: What zone are you in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep Katherine, same story here about the peach farmers. They made our news too. :( Poor farmers!
 

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I feel for you. Spring is what the world deserves after going through the winter. Although her in southern CA I like spring because it is the green that preceeds the ugly brown that we live with through the summer and fall.

We had a weird freeze in January or February, can't remember - early tax season, that's all I know. I have a coral tree in my back yard that is amazing. That freeze froze off every leaf on that tree and they are just now starting to come back. I figured that it would just take awhile to get going, but I was surprised at how long it took. That tree is 20 years old! It is on the right hand side in the picture - this is from a couple of years ago right after we had it thinned out. Right now it is just starting to bud. Funny thing is that the palms on the left did fine in the freeze (they are queen palms) but my king palm looks even funnier than the coral tree. I finally pruned all of the damaged fronds, so he has just one frond left. That will take awhile to get back to looking "normal".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, update: I just went out (in the rain :D ) to check out the damage on the trees.

The Japanese Maples have curled, drooping leaves, but the leaves don't appear to be dead. The crapes are nice and crispy :-\ Stems on both have zero spring-back...they are wilty and droopy and if you bend them, they stay bent :eek:

Big article in the paper this morning about it. It says to expect just what I found, and to leave it alone for a few weeks until you can see what the extent of the damage is. According to the article, plants with shriveled leaves have a better shot than plants with brown crispy leaves. Everyone is very worried about the JM's here.

One thing that the extension agent at mom's MG meeting last night said was that anyone who had pruned their crapes might have gotten lucky and done just the right thing. I had just taken mine back several feet, and cut out a lot of new tender stems. Maybe that will help them out. The stems didn't seem as bendy/rubbery as the JM stems.

Can you tell I'm obsessing about this right now? :D
 

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I'd be obsessing too, Con! I'm still just a beginner gardener but I've put a lot of time and effort into my gardening and I'd be so sad if that happened here! Sue has helped me quite a bit over the years (along with Champsmom) with trying to decide exactly what to plant and how to care for it. It's a labor of love, isn't it? I sure hope all of your trees bounce back!
 

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Connie - I'm not what you would call a gardener, although I have planted flowers from time to time in the past. However, I have two crepe myrtles by my front porch and I'm not overly fond of c/m so I was kind of hoping our freeze might do them in for me. I'd like to replace them with something else, but if they do survive (iddy biddy leaf buds on them now) that would be okay too.
 

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LarrytheLabs Mom said:
I heard on the news that the freeze cost local peach farmers many millions of dollars- yikes!
The nursery down the road tried covering up many of their peach trees to protect them but with this noreaster coming..i dont think there is much hope.
 

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I bet your crapes will be fine...at least most of them. We're not too much farther north than you (couple hours) so I wouldn't think the difference would be too great. I think we got a little colder, but the crapes up here are acclimated to that. The Extension Office said most will be fine, probably bud out later (second time) and may not have as many blooms. They also said that the newer crapes would be at most danger for severe damage, the older ones should be fine. Then again, you don't have to go too far to switch to a different zone, so what we've been told may not apply at all to you all down in Nashville.

My parents were worried about them because they love crape myrtles. They've got the tree varieties, the shrub varieties, and the low-growing bush varieties - they're obsessive about crapes.
 

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We had really strong winds the past few days and there are wilted leaves all over my yard...I guess the wind was strong enough to blow off the ones that wilted from the freeze. I'm seeing new bright green growth underneath some of the damaged leaves on the azaleas. Crepes are still just sort of sitting there...I'm just waiting to see with them. I'm okay if they don't bloom, I just hope they don't go belly up all together. I hate all our spring color went poof. All the azaleas were about to burst and now nothing. It looks kinda blah around here again; almost like winter. I even noticed bermuda grass went back to brown where it had started to green up. The weeds are doing great, though! ;D
 

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I am in zone 5 ... some people will say zone 6. I have planted some things that were listed for zone 6 and they have come back, but it has to be in a protected area. My Japanese Maple did not seem to have any damage ... I am sure it was not as far along as yours are. My flower cherry was just starting to open up. I can tell that those flowers are gone. :(
 

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my daffodils and hyacinths had just bloomed and smelled heavenly. the next day, we had 3 inches of snow on the ground. my dafs did try to sprout up but were pretty wilted. i also have a flowering cherry tree that all the buds are brown and dead on and also my flowering redbud tree will be another dud this year. not sure how my lilac trees faired. i am afraid to look at them. i was so ticked off at this weather this year because spring is my favorite time of year and i didn't get to enjoy any of the new blooms.
 
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