The unexpected and extraordinary cold we experienced in February has surely redefined the landscape of all of Texas from the tip of the panhandle to the Rio Grande. Immediately following the freeze, the color brown became the new color for the landscape. Most of all, turf grasses were brown and crisp as they were severely brown tipped with stressed wilt. Perennials and Tropicals were completely burnt and were either covered with brown crisp leaves and sticks or were globs of mush. In addition, tree leaves were burnt or had a hazy green tint while fronds on palms were drooping with similar brown and gray-green in color.
After all of that damage, how can you find the positive in the situation?
The biggest opportunity to see the positive in the damage done by the major freeze with experience in the Great Houston area in 2021 is the chance to do a long overdue, complete refresh of the commercial landscaping for your property. While none of us could have anticipated or budgeted for the dead plants left behind after those extreme temperatures, many commercial property managers are using this time to remove old or unattractive areas of the landscaping and replace them with something new and fresh.
Another positive is that we have seen what plants are the hardiest options in the landscape for temperatures of that sort. Being conscience of the fact that another freeze like that is likely in years to come means we want to select plant material that will survive, or even thrive, when that happens. Many of us were very surprised by what made it through and what didn’t. This freeze was like nothing we have ever seen for commercial landscaping in Houston. We have learned a lot from it and are using that information to help our property managers replace landscaping with choices that will be well equipped for future cold temperatures.
As a commercial landscape maintenance firm, we have also had to adapt in the moment to help our customers rebuild. The freeze didn’t just affect the Houston area or even just Texas for that matter. The damage done to our growers and landscape suppliers was widespread. We have had to expand our vendors to a wider reach so that we have to ability to quickly source the plant material needed. Doing this has allowed us to create those relationship which makes us better equipped if a storm of this sort does hit our area in the future.
If you still haven’t removed dead shrubs, trees or grasses, it is time. We all held on with hope that many things would come back, some of us having the ability to be more patient than others. Fall is always the very best time to plant new shrubs, grasses, trees and more. So take the opportunity of the upcoming to refresh your landscape and have it looking its best as we go into the holiday season with the promise of a Spring green up that will look phenomenal! Our staff of landscape consultants and certified arborists is here to help you make the right selections for your commercial landscape. We are also here to advise on the proper irrigation system and scheduling to properly water your new landscaping and we will work to protect the new plants as best we can when the cold temperatures return.