Crepe Myrtle Limbs Have Turned Black During Cold Winter Month

Question From: VIRGINIA
Q: Live in Winchester, VA and all limbs on 2 year old crepe myrtal (variety listed as ok for zone 6) turned black during severe cold snap we had for about a month this winter. Does the blackened bark mean all upper branches dead or should I wait until June to see if life comes back?

A: Jim, If it were in warmer weather I'd say it was sooty mold, which will not kill the tree. I'd be patient and see what happens. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy