When freak North American winter storm Uri arrived in Texas in February, we were not personally prepared on our ranch for the duration of the storm and the effect it would have on our newly transplanted landscape.

When we first heard a winter storm was coming, we covered some of our landscaping, but what we were not prepared for was the duration of the storm and losing electricity and water at the beginning of the storm itself. Those two factors shifted our focus from caring for our plants and landscape to focusing on our family and communities' survival during that week.

When the lights came back on, and the water was safe to drink again, almost an entire week of freezing weather had wreaked havoc on our landscape and I admit, I was a bit take aback at how sad it looked once the snow and ice melted.


I know I am not alone.

Photo-TSM- ILee

Early on we heard from experts saying we should not call certain plants, like or palms a total loss yet. We were told to wait and see when it came to certain plants in our landscaping. We've trimmed back quite a few of the sago palms and agave but we dared not touch the palm trees. This last week we have seen some green springing back in our landscaping again especially in the grass and shrubs, but likely we've lost our agave and been waiting to hear when to call it on the palm trees.

Photo credit/TSM-IL

The time to tell if our palm trees survived is just a few short weeks away.

According to a report from KSAT12 which you can read here, June 1st is the date we should put on our calendar as the date to decide whether our palms trees will return or if we should remove them. In the interview with Mark Peterson, forester and arborist, Peterson estimates to KSAT 12 that 90% of Mexican fans and date palms did not survive, while 100% of queen palms were lost in the San Antonio area adding that sago palms (technically a cycad) likely just lost their fronds and Peterson puts their mortality rate at about 60%.

Whether or not your palm tree will make it will greatly depend on the species of palm.

You'll be looking for green at the top of your palm trees on June 1st. The article offers that " If green does not show up at the top of the palm by then, you can likely conclude that it will not survive."

Coincidentally for us, we had just transplanted our sago palms and agave from huge planters around the house into our actual frontage landscaping two weeks before the storm.

This just goes to prove that after a year like 2020 we should have been prepared for anything! 

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