Assessing the damage after the freeze

Good News….. all plants were saved and extremely healthy. No casualties to date. Be on the lookout for latent freeze damage that will not be evident for 3-6 weeks. Latent freeze damage appears as the sap rises in trees and shrubs and plant begins to leaf out. The bark splits due to several reasons…. outer layer is dead and works like a frozen pipe. Some plants have minimum damage and survive and others slowly decline over the course of several months. Prune severely frost bitten plants to where green tissue is evident in the stalk……do not leave dead tissue on for months, it will move down into live tissue….so prune 2” below dead. Consider waiting a few days to determine where this line is. Most palms survived, except queen palms. If the trunk is soft, like a mushy banana, it is a loss. If the trunk is hard, the fronds will be burned and need removal. More good news…..it appears St. Augustine and Bermuda survived, for the most part, due to the insulating snow. With the rapid thaw to warmer weather, now is a good time for preemergent and preventative fungicide.