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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 3:16pm

Many Plants Slow To Rebound After Record-Setting Cold Spikes

Updated: 8 months ago.
A frostbitten creeping fig on the writer's house in Macon. Most of the dead leaves are gone, revealing the living leaves behind them. (Photo: Adam Ragusea / GPB News)

Flowering trees are starting to bloom as Georgia heads into spring, but record low temperatures this winter have done permanent damage to some landscape plants.

"You're looking at a lot of Sago palms with fronds burned out, creeping figs going up your brick walls are browned out,” said Derrick Catlett, arborist at Middle Georgia State College.

“And if you like your oleander plant for your summer flowers, they appear to be decimated and dead right now,” he said.

Gardeners need to get out their pruning shears, Catlett said, and cut back frostbitten plants until they see green in the stem.

"As you snip into the woody structure, it'll be dried up and brown like a dead stem, and you just keep going back until you find that green cambium,” he said.

“Once you're cutting into a green stem, that's when you hold your ground."

Most affected plants should rebound, Catlett said, with the exception of the many oleander shrubs around Macon — he only gives them a 50-50 chance of making it.