The Big Freeze Damage and Survivors

nickw252January 31, 2013

I covered a lot of things in my garden and fortunately most things look like they're coming back. My immature Jacaranda that I planted in October was hit hard but it has new growth:

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    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:59PM
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My Hibiscus that has been in the ground for about two years died back but there is new growth:

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 2:00PM
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My Sissoo trees that I planted two years ago have new growth also. This tree actually had a few green leaves remaining:

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 2:02PM
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Reminder: It's too early to identify all the survivors. Wait until late spring before you make the final decisions.

If a tree has lost all the branches and starts sprouting from the bark - it's dead as a landscaping plant. Those branches are "bark suckers" and branches from them will never be as strong as the original branches.

Wait until a shrub's usual leafing out time before you prune, and prune back to a healthy shoot aimed in the direction you want.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:48AM
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The only thing in my yard that still has leaves is my butterfly bushes. I'll let you know in about a month. My crape myrtles, which I planted last April (and almost killed with too much sulphur in the fall), are leafless but fine. Orchid tree was planted in August or September and has some slight branch dieback.

Coincidentally, I'm soaking jacaranda seeds right now to be planted in my planters later today. I hope to get them in the grown by late summer, if not next spring to avoid the cold. I'm also soaking some western redbud seeds for planting next spring.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:23PM
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P.S. out of curiosity, did you amend the soil when planting the jacarandas or do you suppose they should be fine in just the native, alkaline (caliche rich) soils of Tucson?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:24PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Nick, I don't know if it's the angle of the photo, but that jac in the first picture appears to be awfully close to that arborvitae. Too close. Did you decide to leave that tree where it is? If so, you're going to have a problem trying to grow the jacaranda so near to it.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:56PM
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I plan on getting rid of the arborvitae.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:11PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

I'm considering taking mine down, too, mostly because I hate the infestation of bugs and the browning they cause. I don't want to throw it away, so I looked for possible uses. Might be interesting to you, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arborvitae uses

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:56PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Neat update, nickw252, thanks for the pics and comments. Definitely let us know how things progress. The damage on most of your trees looks about the same as most around the Valley. Hopefully you'll get good recovery, and if not, hey, it's a good experiment, right? I don't plan on EVER replanting pencil "cacti" here (Euphorbia tirucalli) since mine get zorched by the cold every few years; ditto for my roadkill cactus too (Consolea).

Definitely looking forward to updates, so keep them coming. Thanks again for the pics! Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 2:59PM
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