Archive date: January 5, 2018
Relief in sight from 7-day arctic visit…
2017 ended, and 2018 began, with frigid fanfare. Outdoor events tested the stamina and questioned the sanity of many New Year’s attendees. I know that for a fact as an in-stadium enthusiast of the Titan’s last home game on New Year’s Eve. My brother Mark, and I made the trek to Nissan Stadium on Sunday. We are both seasoned outdoor professionals. We have the gear. Since we have both worked outdoors year-round for the entirety of our lives, we have developed a toughness to weather extremes. Working outside, when properly attired, is very doable, even in extreme wind-chill. Sitting outside is altogether different. By halftime, we had enough of elective cold-weather exposure. With our sanity dangling by a thread, we made our way back to my house to finish our cheering-on of the Titans in comfort. We’re not as tough as we used to be, but at least we’re still marginally sane.
While the number of consecutive days of biting-cold conditions has not gone without notice, it is nothing out-of-the-norm for us to experience temperatures in this range. You would be less than an avid gardener if your thoughts haven’t gone towards the state of plants in your landscape.
What has all this cold weather done to the plants? Has there been extensive damage? Will large amounts of plants need to be replaced?
There is no single answer to satisfy the concerns associated with possible freeze damage. The cold temperatures will most assuredly have an effect on plants. Those of marginal hardiness will likely show the greatest stress; most plants however, will likely exhibit little if any negative effects. Conifers will exhibit more pronounced winter color; that disappears with the return of spring. Some broadleaf evergreens may show some burn on the foliage, particularly near the tops. Be that the case, it can be sheared off in late winter/early spring. Most deciduous plants will be unaffected, a couple of exceptions: crape myrtle and figs. For those, it’s too soon to determine how much damage may have occurred.