Freeze leaves Fla. Panhandle with dead trees; palms, citrus, other non-native species hit hard

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Some Florida Panhandle property owners lost thousands of dollars in palms, citrus trees and other non-native plants because of the incredibly harsh winter in that area.

Experts say the problem is that Panhandle residents are drawn to stereotypical Florida landscaping that isn't designed to survive a hard freeze. The trees can do well in the Florida Panhandle for years, but the climate of the region isn't consistently warm enough for many varieties of palm and fruit trees to thrive.

Temperatures dipped into the 20s and below across the region this winter and ice stayed on the ground for more than 24 hours.