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The unprecedented winter weather in February 2021 will have a lasting effect on North Texas. Many trees and plants have already failed to come back from the freezing temperatures and had to be removed. Others may be showing signs of new growth, but are still struggling. The Texas A&M Forest Service and other experts have reiterated the need to care for freeze-damaged and stressed trees to give them the best chance of recovering.


Freeze-stressed trees, especially oaks, may be putting out some new leaves, but are much less vigorous than in previous years.

  • Continue to monitor them, and do what you can to alleviate stress.
  • Water your stressed trees properly, and make sure not to flood the roots with overwatering.
  • Avoid preventative insecticide or fungicide treatments; treat only those pests that are currently active in the tree.


Texas live oak tree showing signs of freeze damage and related stress

Live oak showing signs of freeze-related stress

Texas red oak tree showing signs of freeze damage and related stress.

Red oak affected by the freeze in Februrary 2021



Whatever the progress of your tree’s recovery, it will take months and possibly years to regain the health it had before the winter storms.

  • If a tree has shown no signs of new growth by July, it will likely never recover.
  • Trees with sparse growth may be able to leaf out normally in a year or two, so consider waiting to remove.
  • As always, contact an ISA Certified Arborist to evaluate your trees’ progress and make recommendations for care.

At Texas Tree Surgeons, we love trees and we love our community! We are constantly in discussion with experts in the fields of arboriculture and horticulture throughout Texas as we try to manage the effects of February’s freeze. Our ISA Certified Arborists are happy to assess your trees and help you provide the best care during this period of residual stress. As we move into the heat of the summer, potential for heat-related stress increases, so contact an arborist today!