State

March snow could damage early-blooming plants; recovery possible

A crabapple tree was in full bloom Feb. 24 next to the pedway from a parking garage on South Limestone to the University of Kentucky campus.
A crabapple tree was in full bloom Feb. 24 next to the pedway from a parking garage on South Limestone to the University of Kentucky campus. cbertram@herald-leader.com

If early predictions of possible weekend snow and cold come true, early-blooming plants in Central Kentucky could be damaged. But a Lexington horticulturist says most of those plants would probably recover.

An extended warm spell in the region has been welcomed by many residents, but Fayette County extension horticulture agent Jamie Dockery said the weather has many plants about three weeks ahead of schedule in their spring growth.

In the areas that get snow and low temperatures, blossoms on flowering plants and fruit trees will probably be killed and soft tissue could be damaged, Dockery said. Most plants wouldn’t be permanently affected.

WKYT meteorologist Chris Bailey reported Wednesday that several models project wintery weather over the weekend, with possible snowfall in Southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee. It’s too early to predict where the snow might fall or how much might accumulate in southern and Central Kentucky.

If parts of Kentucky get the projected winter storm, throwing a sheet over plants won’t do much to protect them.

“There is little that can be done to protect plants from a hard freeze,” Dockery said. “There are some things that may protect plants from light frosts, but methods like covering plants will be insufficient for a hard freeze like the one forecast.”

  Comments