The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Smith County, along with the Earth-Kind Environmental Education Committee, will be hosting a program focused on tree care and tree replacement options for on June 16. The historic freeze in 2021 in Texas affected even hardy native trees and the impact continues to be felt. The program, which focuses on the Tyler and East Texas area, will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Drive, Tyler. The cost is $20, payable at the door by cash or check. Coffee and refreshments will be provided, and door prizes will be awarded. For more information, contact the AgriLife Extension office in Smith County at 903-590-2980. Additional information can be found on the website.
“There are dead trees — especially oaks — far and wide in East Texas,” said Greg Grant, AgriLife Extension horticulturist for Smith County. “Many more are in various states of recovery, decline or decay. I see and hear a lot of comments about various diseases and maladies, but most of the damage took place during or was a result of the historic freeze event of 2021.”
Grant said he knew what “zero degrees” does to live oaks, since they are coastal trees by nature. He also said the 2021 freeze damage to many of the Zone 8 Asian plants such as azaleas, camellias and gardenias came as no surprise.
“What came as a huge shock, though, was the widespread freeze damage to mature native deciduous oak trees that evolved here over thousands of years,” Grant said. “Most of the surprise damage occurred on post oaks, southern red oaks and water oaks. And to make matters worse, many trees that survived the 2021 freeze in various states of health then succumbed to our severe summer drought in 2022.”
Tree topics and arborists
Practical solutions for tree care will be presented by experienced local certified arborist Mark Tietz of Tree Experts in East Texas and Grant. They will include:
- Steps to take to figure out what’s wrong with your trees.
- How to determine if a tree can be saved.
- Properly caring for trees.
- Information on the dead and dying oak trees in the area.
- Potential replacement species that provide the best long-term investment for East Texas