Tree Care: Weather Protection

We're subjected to mild and brief winter periods with a slight chance of freezing temperatures. Our summers can reach sustained periods of extreme heat, sometimes lasting for months. Our spring and fall seasons are rather pleasant and ideal for planting. Our intimate plant knowledge has enabled us to select certain species of trees and plants that will survive and thrive under these conditions. Some species will require more monitoring and caring than others, but this is a general guide for just about any tree or plant we carry at our nurseries.

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Frost and Freeze Protection
What to do during periods of abnormally cold weather

Normal winter time conditions in and around our lower altitude areas include a few nights where the temperatures may reach below freezing (32F) at official weather reporting stations. In outlying and lower lying areas, actual temperatures may be even lower. In an abnormally cold period, temperatures can reach the lower twenties or even colder. If you have questions on the hardiness of your plants or how cold your particular area gets, please call your closest Big Tex Nursery. Smaller and newly planted trees and shrubs tend to be the most susceptible to damage from cold weather. All trees and plants can benefit from the following measures to help prevent damage from frost & freezing conditions:

  1. Water
    The laws of thermodynamics prove that it is more difficult to cool humid air than dry air, so be sure to thoroughly water all of your trees and plants during periods of forecast frost or freeze. Also, get your entire yard wet in the evening before forecast/ freeze. This boosts humidity in the immediate microclimate and will help minimize the effects of frost/ freeze on your trees and plants.

  2. Cover
    Where feasible, cover plants with a frost cloth or old blankets before a night forecast to bring a freeze. DO NOT USE PLASTIC - plastic increases the chance of freeze damage. For larger trees and plants, you can apply Frost Proof insulating spray. This applies a thin lay of wax-like substance that minimizes evaporation from the leaves, thus minimizing frost/freeze damage. Frost Cloth & Frost Proof spray are available at all Moon Valley Nurseries.

  3. Heat
    People have had success in preventing frost/freeze damage by stringing up Christmas lights in their trees. The older style lights (incandescent) provide the best warming effect. It may sound silly, but a few degrees can make a huge difference. There are other popular methods of protecting against freeze damage, but do to the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of weather, they aren't guaranteed to work.

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Protection Against Extreme Heat
What to do during periods of abnormally hot & dry conditions

In low altitudes, we all know it gets hot in the summer. Houston is no stranger to the occasional bouts of extreme heat! When daytime highs reach 100° or more for 3+ days in a row, this is considered extreme heat. During such weather trees and plants simply require more water to survive. In addition, the hot sun tends to dry out soil more rapidly. During these conditions, it’s usually necessary to provide more water than normal to your trees & plants. When providing additional water, it’s best to water in the evening to allow maximum absorption by the trees & plants before the next days heat.

Watch your trees & plants closely during extreme heat. It’s normal for some plants to wilt during the day. This is the plants way to minimize water loss. Some leaf scorch is possible during extreme heat. If you trees or plants experience drastic wilting (doesn’t recover at night) or drastic leaf loss, call us for more detailed advice. Keep a good eye on soil conditions. It doesn’t need to stay sopping wet all the time, but don’t let it dry out completely either. If you have further questions on caring for your trees & plants during extreme heat, please contact your closest Big Tex Nursery.

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Cacti
Some plants LOVE the heat!

Remember...Big Tex Tree Nursery grows our trees and plants at our desert farms, so they are well-suited for our summers. It's never too hot to plant Big
Tex Tree Nursery trees!