Cold Weather Takes Toll On Plants

Las Cruces – The prickly pear cactus in Magdalena Moreno's front yard sagged next to a 12-foot saguaro that showed leaking sap.

Last week's sub-freezing temperatures wiped out landscaping and other vegetation around Las Cruces. Moreno's saguaro should survive but the prickly pears up and down her street are dead.

Dona Ana County extension agent Jeff Anderson says the national impact of vegetation killed during the cold snap will be measured in the multimillions, if not billions of dollars.

Anderson says Mexican fan palms a slender palm that's not cold-hardy probably died across the region. A replacement can cost about $35 a foot.

Anderson notes the prolonged freeze spanned multiple states and affected nurseries and landscaping supplies, so there's likely to be a shortage as customers seek to replace dead plants.


Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News,

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.