Terrible freeze damage
Like clockwork, our extremely warm winter (lowest temp. was 25 F (-4 C) in December) has led to early growth on most plants. As expected, we had 2 nights of subfreezing temps (21 F (-6.1 C) yesterday morning). I could smell the death in the morning. I am having trouble finding plants that weren't damaged. Entire peach crop is lost as are lots of things. What's interesting is that despite having significant tender new growth (some oaks, hickories, elms, hackberries, with 6-8" of new growth) the native trees were mostly unharmed. It got me thinking, have our native tree genotypes evolved to deal with these huge swings in temps in unique ways. I know many of the same species, taken from northern ecotypes would likely be toast after such conditions. These extreme swings in temps are unusual during the growing season in most places, but here plants are very frequently tempted to grow up to 2 MONTHS before they should. It is depressing that after a mild winter overall, any gains I might have hoped for in terms of getting less hardy stuff established were wiped out in one night. Now it will be back to warm weather and I get to look at dead/damaged plants - many of which are extremely rare or I worked hard to propagate. This is definitely proof that natives are better for most landscapes. The problem is i am a collector and enjoy trying to grow lots of things (native and not).