Warmer than normal winter weather could cause trees to bloom early

Weather News

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A blooming tree reacts most to warming temperatures, so warmer weather in the winter can have the trees blooming like it’s already spring.

Most trees go dormant in the winter until they can bloom again in the spring. But when the weather feels like spring, like it has been in western Massachusetts recently, trees can sprout leaves, flowers, and fruit early.

22News sat down with associate professor Rick Harper of urban forestry at UMass Amherst about when we can expect to see bloom again in Spring.

“The real thing we’re concerned about is the fluctuation,” said Harper. “So we do start to see early blooms so if this warmer weather continues, well into February, we certainly could see some earlier blooms, and then we get concerned about early frosts.”

A stretch of warmer weather, followed by a significant cooldown, can be stressful and potentially damaging to trees.

Fruit and flower buds are most susceptible to a drop in temperature, while leaf buds are most likely to recover from an early frost.

We haven’t seen much yet, but if you notice a tree in your backyard blooming early this winter, you can protect it for the spring by insulating it with mulch and keeping it well watered.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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