Lake Travis - Westlake Edition | May 2021

ENVIRONMENT

Assessing true damage toHill Country landscapes to take time

BY GREG PERLISKI

infrastructure from the arctic air that owed over Texas. “What we are experiencing now is that people are still trying to gure out their losses both in the landscape and in the growing nurseries,” she said. “This is going to continue on for several years. We just don’t know our overall losses.” Driving plant losses were not just the low temperatures, but the days of freezing temperatures, Graham said. For example, in Central Texas from Feb. 10-18, temperatures never climbed above freezing, according to the National Weather Service. Those extremes

As the Texas Hill Country moves further into spring, reminders of this year’s winter storm remain preva- lent among residential lawns and commercial landscapes of western Travis County. Dead hedges, decaying succulents and frazzled palms are a common site. And now experts in the landscape, nursery and garden industry are totaling the losses. The Texas Nursery & Landscape Association, in partnership with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, is survey- ing growers,

Succulent plants, like these agave, or century plants at the Hill Country Galleria, were severely damaged by the 2021 winter storm. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)

TAKING STOCK The nursery and landscape industry represents big business in Texas. Annual sales of landscape and gardening products and services totaled $19.47 billion, according to a 2019 industry report.

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wholesalers, and commercial and retail business owners. What they have learned is the industry has staggering losses statewide, TNLA

“WE AREWELL OVER $100MILLION IN LOSSES RIGHT NOW. WE HADONE GROWER WHO LOST $28MILLION

2019 SALES

are now being felt by consumers, accord- ing to Stephen Hall, a regional manager for Moon Valley Nurser- ies, which operates a Austin location at 12931 Research Blvd. Newly planted and well-established

$1.95 billion Production/ manufacturing $5.72 billion Landscape services $11.80 billion Wholesale & retail stores TOTAL: $19.47 billion

IN JUST TREES.” AMY GRAHAM, TNLA PRESIDENT AND CEO

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President and CEO Amy Grahamsaid. “We are well over $100 million in losses right now,” Graham said. “We had one grower who lost $28 million in just trees.” To fully assess the damage, questions asked of industry participants by the TNLA survey include the value of their inventory before the stormand inven- tory losses incurred from the storm. Other issues to tally are the costs of additional labor and material needed to protect plants during the storm as well as structural damage to buildings, irrigation pipes and other

plant species in landscapes all suered from the winter storm. Of particular concern are species of palm that were particularly vulnera- ble to the storm, he said. “Most palms, right now, it’s pretty drastic,” he said. “There are a couple select varieties that survived the freeze, but they are not necessarily the most popular varieties. So, unfortunately, most of the popular varieties are going to need to be replaced.”

SOURCE: TEXAS NURSERY AND LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION, TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

1 Carolina cherry is a plant commonly used to replace dead or damaged hedges, according toMoon Valley Nurseries. 2 AMoon Valley Nurseries team installs amature tree at a home in Northwest Austin. Many older trees experienced broken limbs or failed to fully recover from the Texas winter storm. (Photos courtesyMoon Valley Nurseries)

I N- STORE & ONL I NE MAY 3-8

*Mother's Day Gifts Sale runs 5/3/21-5/8/21. Valid on featured products. Sale items can be shopped in-store and online at www.twinliquors.com. Selection varies by store. Items and prices subject to change without notice. No further discount on Sale Items, Final Few, or Closeouts. Some exclusions apply. Please drink responsibly.

ON SELECT WI NES & SP I R I TS *

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2021

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