Rewind: an unusually hard, but short freeze around December 2, 2009, after a long, relatively warm fall. Very little in the way of freezing temperatures for the rest of the month; much of January and February were very warm.
Fast forward: April had several frosty mornings, colder and wetter than average temperatures.
Results: more weeds than I’ve ever had in the yard, including big crops of maple seedlings. Several “hardy” perennials appear to be dead, though they’ve survived harsher winters; I’m still holding out hope for some of the late-to-wakers. Tender perennials, like some of the sages, I’d expect to lose, even with mulching. Alas, my young apricot tree is diseased with bacterial canker (causal organism: Pseudomonas syringae), probably induced by weather-related stresses. Double rats!
It’s always a puzzler when plants survive typical winter periods of cold temperatures just fine, then die after a winter of milder temperatures. But, that one cold snap came so early in December, with little chilling preparation ahead of it, and some plants physiologically weren’t ready to cope. Sigh….