Frost damage. What now?

You, like most of us in Central Texas, just went through a historical weather event that has left us with lots of questions about the future of our landscape plants, trees, and turf. The short answer is TIME. We need to wait and see how our landscapes respond to warmer weather and moisture. I know it may seem odd to water “dead” plants but we do not know if they are in fact dead so we suggest that you keep your normal watering schedule for this time of year in the absence of natural rainfall.  Long term, we will need to look at each plant on its own to identify if it did not make it and then consider its replacement. There is a simple test called the scratch test. Take a house key or a small pocket knife and scratch the stem of the plant to check for “green” under the bark. If you scratch and see green that is good news. If you do not see green, continue down the branch until you find green, and then consider running that plant back to that point to help with overall recovery.

Trees-This will take a lot more time and you may need to call in an expert to help guide you through this recovery process. Keep an eye out for dead limbs and have those removed promptly to avoid injury from the falling.

Turf-The only good thing will be that the snow may have acted as an insulator and protected the roots from extreme damage. Once the fear of late frost is gone, take the mower down a few notches to remove the winter decay and wait for new growth.