ST. GEORGE — The palm trees in Southern Utah are starting to recover from the deep freeze that hit the area in December. Arborists say despite the hard hit, more survived than originally thought.
Local arborist Kevan Jorgensen said it was a tense few months of waiting and wondering how many of the tropical trees would make it through one of the coldest winters in St. George record.
“We were thinking we’d lose about 80 percent of the palm trees, because we’ve never seen this before,” Jorgensen said. “But now that it’s getting about 80 degrees, it’s when the palms start pushing out new growth, we’re only seeing about 10 percent.”
Jorgensen said most of the palms have a low threshold for cold temperatures, so when the sub-zero temperatures set in early in December, they initially thought the casualties would be higher. Certain varieties have proven to have a home in Dixie.