Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Here in the DFW area, we just had one of those once every 50 year winters where it was very cold, very wet, for a very long time. I saw temps for days below 20 degrees, falling all the way to the low teens. We had 6 inches of snow … TWICE!!! We’re really just now starting to feel spring/summer, and that means I can take stock of the damage, and folks it’s not pretty.
My big kick in the gut was the loss of a 12 ft California fan palm. It’s a clear goner. A sharp tug on what was left of the cone told the tale when it pulled completely out. It had been in the ground for 7 or 8 years so who would have expected that. And, I see plenty of other Fan palms all over the city whose owners I’m sure are hoping for the best, but if they’re not showing signs of life by now, they’re goners. Gotta face reality.
More bad news … I probably lost half my banana plants. The ones that did survive are just now starting to come on strong. Now, I have to admit something on the bananas …. I talked the talk (See Banana Plants in the Winter), but I didnt walk the walk. I’ve gotten so spoiled with mild winters for the last few years that I didn’t do the basics, like applying that thick layer of mulch going into the winter … and it cost me. If I had just followed my own advice I probably wouldn’t have lost a single one. Get lazy and you can definitely get caught …
Everything is very slow to come back this year, but other than the above at least it is all coming back. Windmill palms, of course, showed ZERO ill effects (See this article for a good discussion on cold hardy palms). My 40 ft Mexican Fan Palm pulled through. My big Sago Palm made it. It looks like all the Ginger made it and, to my great surprise, an Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia) I had in the ground is coming back. I did take the big potted plumeria into the garage, so no worries there.
I suppose it could have been worse. I’m bummed out over the losses, but I guess this is just one of those times when nature plays a dirty trick on we Backyard Resorters. Was the terrible winter an anomoly? Probably. Is there anything practical I could have done to save my big California Fan Palm? Probably not. There ….. I feel better now. I’ll just plan on enjoying my slowly recovering backyard resort for our first 90 degree weekend ….