The shifts in weather patterns the last couple of months around the country have made life as a plant somewhat difficult. What a way to end 2015, huh? Take northern Illinois for example, we got snow before Thanksgiving and until this week, have had temperatures way above average. Some days this December even reaching 60 degrees! Not too common for us.
Such a shift in typical weather patterns can cause some serious confusion to plants and their “resting period”. A plants resting period is dictated by temperatures, so any shift out of the ordinary can really throw plants off. As a direct result of this, some plants can be tricked into sending out new leaves and flowers, thinking it was spring once again, due to the warmer temperatures.
Cherry trees blossoming in D.C. this month is a great example of how this warmer weather can effect a plants resting period. I myself have even noticed a few tulips and daffodils poking through the soil at my house recently, and I still have some tulips that I have yet to plant! As far as the cherry trees are concerned, they should be just fine. The only negative effect it could have is that they may not bloom as much next spring.
As far as the spring bulbs are concerned, they have especially adapted to cold weather early in their life cycle, so they should bloom just as beautiful as ever once the warm weather is here to stay. Depending on the extent of the cold temperatures, the worst thing that could happen is the leaf tips may turn a little brown.
Being in the Green Industry for over 40 years has taught me time and time again that sometimes the weather will do strange things. And even though the weather is an unpredictable beast, turf and trees are remarkable plants that can endure a good deal of abuse and keep on growing. That’s what makes nature so incredible.
Does this weather have you concerned about something in your landscape? Contact your local Spring-Green professional and they can answer all of your questions.