Is the ice storm affecting the azaleas bloom?

Is the ice storm affecting the azaleas bloom?

POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 5:54pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 6:16pm

Tyler's famous Azalea Trail will be open in just two weeks. You might be wondering if this ice storm is going to affect their bloom. But, fortunately the azaleas are not blooming yet, so the committee is hopeful they will be ok just in time for the big event.

The Azalea Trail starts March 21 and ends April 6 and this is their 55th year. It's known as East Texas' most spectacular spring flower trail. People from all over the country visit at the end of March to see one of Tyler's most famous flowers. But, did the ice storm affect the azaleas bloom and the big event?

"We're so thankful we didn't have any blooms already because if there had been blooms and we had that freeze, it obviously would have done serious damage to the bushes," said Asst. Vice President of Tourism/Servicing Susan Travis.

Good news, most of the azaleas should be ok.

"If we can have some sunshine and some warm weather which is coming, I understand we should have some, hopefully a few bloom anyway, but by the middle weekend of the trail, which is the last weekend in March, we will hopefully have even more," said Travis.

But, certified landscaper James Wilhite believes because of the ice storm, they might bloom a little later than expected.

"We're March 21 for our kickoff, it may just be beginning at that point," said Wilhite.

Homeowners are prepared when they hear about a severe storm coming.

"When they know ice is coming, they get out there and they do everything they can to protect them. They cover them with plastic bags whatever it takes to protect them," said Travis.  

But no matter what, bloom or not, the azalea event will still go on.

"Rain or shine, sleet or snow no matter what we will have the Azalea Trail," said Travis.

But, if we do get another cold front, how are the azaleas going to hold up then?

KETK meteorologist Scott Chesner said azalea owners need to keep an eye on the weather. He said with this frigid winter we've been having, anything is possible. Chesner said there may be another freeze around the end of March, but it's still too far out to see how intense the freeze will be. He said even though we are tending to warm up, winter seems to be not over and we can be getting some more crazy weather right into the first part of April.

"It won't be surprising to see another freeze and more frost all the way up into the first part of April especially with this winter has been so cold I would expect a later than normal frost and freezes," said Chesner.

Chesner said if the weather drops into the teens again, azalea owners might want to consider covering their plants.

Tyler Convention & Visitors Bureau information:

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