Recent freeze won’t kill 62nd Azalea Trail, will likely reduce flower blooms

Recent freeze won’t kill 62nd Azalea Trail, will likely reduce flower blooms
Tyler's 60th Azalea Trail opens Friday with ribbon cutting ceremony

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Dates for the 62nd Annual Azalea & Spring Flower Trail have been announced, however attendees are warned that blooms are expected to be reduced due to the recent harsh weather.

The event will be held March 19-April 4, 2021 and Visit Tyler has consulted with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Horticulturist Greg Grant to get a feel for what to expect in the coming months for Tyler’s gardens.

Status of the Blooms

According to Grant, at this time, visitors to the Azalea Trail can expect to see about 15-20% of the normal blooms this time of year.

“While the freeze has definitely impacted the evergreen azaleas, we are still likely to see other plants blooming even if it’s not as fully bloomed as in year’s past,” Grant said.

Even though the evergreen azaleas have been greatly affected, Grant says that some blooms we can still expect to see include crabapples, deciduous azaleas, dogwoods, ornamental pears, spirea, tulips, and wisteria.

Plant Care After a Freeze

Advice was also given regarding how to care for plants after an extended deep freeze.

A lot of azaleas and other evergreen plants after the freeze will have brown leaves, but this is not an indicator of the life of the plant. According to Grant, the best way to know if your plant is damaged beyond repair is to wait until warmer weather and longer days, then assess the status of the stems of the plant. If the stems are dried, brittle, or cracked, those parts of the plant have probably frozen and can be cut back. If limbs were broken, those will need to be cut off at an angle to prevent insect damage.

“Most plants in this area will probably re-sprout at some point from the ground or lower stem,” Grant said. “Actually a blessing in this situation was the snow because the snow acted as insulation for the plants. This means that most of those plants will see new growth at the lower part of the shrub where the snow was.”

For more information on dealing with freeze damage, visit the Aggie Horticulture Facebook page, the Smith County Master Gardener Facebook page, and Neil Sperry’s GARDENS Facebook page.

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