In the past few weeks the eucs in San Antonio have gone from looking bad to worse. 99% of the trees in the area are red gums, nearly all camaldulensis I believe, with maybe 3-4% microtheca and 1-2% other. This was the worst freeze since Dec 1990 with the first night being especially punishing, when the relentless wind kept the temperature depressed around 20F all night. It did not go above freezing until two days later. The only camaldulensis I have are two of the variety subcinerea (Silverton to be precise). They have done very well here: the largest one is especially attractive, with slightly glaucous foliage and a beautiful trunk that looks like it's been sprayed with metallic paint. It started resprouting over a week ago with virtually no wood damage and certainly no trunk damage. Encouraged, I thought the other eucs in the San Antonio area should soon be coming back strong as well. Apparently not.
Today I was driving around the east and northeast sides of town and, well, it wasn't pretty. A small red gum very close to downtown was starting to resprout on one or two stems but the trunk is showing much splitting. Even worse is a massive old camaldulensis just north of Fort Sam Houston, it was large even back in the 1980s when it was killed to the ground several times. Since then it had not been seriously challenged until now, but after examining it today the only growth I could see was on the very largest trunk (about 9" or so thick) about 4-5 feet off the ground. Nothing else on the tree showed any signs of life. Nearby, some trees that I suspect are cam. var. obtusa look even worse, they are tall but still have terrible splitting all up and down their trunks, surely killed to the ground.
There are a number of other large red gums around SA that aren't easily accessed so their damage probably won't be apparent for a while. Still it looks disappointing, and I see no reason why traditional red gums should be planted if the Silverton strain is available. Even north of SA a young subcinerea outside New Braunfels looks like it will die back to about 1" wood, more than my trees but still vastly better than other eucs nearby. Subcinerea looks to be at least as hardy as most forms of microtheca coming out of Arizona and almost as cold tolerant as amplifolia, which was scorched but is regrowing even from the tips of the branchlets. The only euc within 20 miles that did better was a cinerea on the near north side of SA, which was virtually untouched. Unfortunately I have never had luck with cinerea or any other euc that doesn't come from very hot summer regions (except the amplifolia, which is basically a tereticornis).
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