The Loquat leaves were still encased too, with most of the branches still bent. I experimented, holding a leaf and trying to slide off the ice, but it held on tight, so I left it to melt on its own.
But this turned out to be quite unlike my previous experiences with ice storms in the North. Many times ice would arrive just ahead of a thermal drop, so the ice would last longer, and the temperatures would be very, very harsh. I don't think we went below 28ºF here, and the unfreezing process was amazing to me.
This afternoon - ta da! My darling Loquat is rebounding I think, although one limb is now completely horizontal, blocking the patio exit at eye level instead of arching 8 feet overhead as it did a week ago. Ki has advised me that props may be necessary, and if we're going to use the patio, at least this branch will need support.
The ground is littered with browned and frozen loquats; the tiny fruits had just begun developing. A few remain on the tree, but winter isn't over, so my dreams of actually eating any this spring may stay dreams.
Today the 'Little Gem' magnolia [a small tree, shorter than I am] is standing straighter, but the center is more open, with the branches fanned out. The boxwoods look better, but have a new shape, too.
I wonder if there will be permanent effects from the bending? From our decades of visiting the Chicago Botanical Gardens, I remember watching as trees were gradually forced into appropriate shapes for their Japanese gardens, with weights tied onto ropes, then suspended from branches. It took years in order to make them grow horizontally, but I may have a head start on that tortured, lateral look.
Is it time to start shopping for stone lanterns?