Thread: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

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  1. #1
    Sapling
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Big Lake, Minnesota
    Posts
    54

    Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    I cant speak for the whole country but here in Minnesota it has been real warm, it will be 58 here tomorrow, all the snow has been gone in my yard for about 3 days now between the rain we have gotten all week and the high 40's to low 50's day temp for about 6 days straight now.

    Im guessing the temp and early ground thaw will trick the trees to leaf out early which will be a bad move case Im pretty sure here in central minny we will have a bunch more days or at leat nights below freezing which will kill off the leaf growth.

    That will suck if it happens again as it happend here about 4 years ago and tho my trees re-leafed out later in may it stunted their growth for the whole season and the leafs were only about 2/3 normal size, im sure its hard on a tree to re-leaf and takes up a lot of energy that would be spent on other things....Keeping my fingers crossed they stay sleeping.
    Improving the health of lawn trees in my neighborhood one tree at a time.

  2. #2
    Oak
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Western NY, Zone 6
    Posts
    348

    RE: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    They'll stay asleep, the tree buds won't pop until the soil temperatures become warm enough to stimulate the trees to come out of dormancy. Now, if all of March had temps in the 50s or 60s with our night time temps staying well above freezing, the trees could pop a little early, a very unusual warm spell could theoretically do the same thing (i.e. temps in the 70s for several days in a row). Duration of sunlight is a factor as well, as the days continue to get longer as we approach mid April into May, the length of daylight will be another factor that will play a role in the trees coming out of dormancy.

  3. #3
    Sapling
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Big Lake, Minnesota
    Posts
    54

    RE: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    My trees are pretty young to so dont want the suns rays to excite the tissue under the bark so I wrapped them with white tree wrap a couple hours ago. Man was it nice here today! The sun finally came out and it had to be close to 60, not your typical March Minnesota weather.
    Improving the health of lawn trees in my neighborhood one tree at a time.

  4. #4
    Oak
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Western NY, Zone 6
    Posts
    348

    RE: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    Mine are all young as well (virtually all my trees have trunk diameters of 2" or less), and the Western NY region has had unusually mild weather the past week with temps climbing up near 60F during the day, though the entire weekend was rainy and windy with temps dipping back into the upper 30F range again. Looking at the forecast next week, every day (except tomorrow) is forecasted to have temps in the upper 50s with sun. I still don't think that will even come close to waking up any of the trees. Once the weather warms up consistently, meaning temps in the 60s during the day, and lows in the 40s, the end of dormancy will be nearing, but most years the buds don't pop until we get some really warm days in the 70s in late April or early May. Last year, my Swamp White Oaks didn't show any activity until well into late May (we had a lot of frosts in May and even into June).

    Trunk wrapping is not a bad idea, I have to wrap mine every Fall or mice and rabbits will girdle the trees. I don't remove the trunk wrap until the trees come out of dormancy.

  5. #5
    Sapling
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    michigan zone 5
    Posts
    68

    RE: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    I'm no expert but from my understanding the weather your having is ideal for people who make maple syrup. Of course young trees can suffer from the cold temps. of the next couple of weeks but will survive. Tree Wrap was a good idea, I suffered splitting from not using it and it left an ugly scar. Even though it's nice to get outside after a long winter it's not a good time to prune, The rising sap really slows down the cutting. Now is also a bad time to even walk under your trees the surface is thawing and lower soil is still frozen risking compacting the roots, I'm a big advocate of a thick mulching in the fall to help prevent freeze-thaw cycles. Of course anything you can do to make the soil well-drained will help with a wet spring so the roots don't sit in water. Hopefully your trees will live a long stress-free life, It sounds like you are truelly concerned with there well-being.

  6. #6
    Sapling
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Big Lake, Minnesota
    Posts
    54

    RE: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    Here in MN we had like 11 days in a row in mid April that were 70 or above.

    It is now here on the 7th of may going to get down to 30 degrees tonight and snow!! How fun it is to live in minnesota! This will make 3 of the last 4 mays here way below average for temps. Would not be quite as bad if our Aprils were not so nice now... All the trees are leafed out so Im sure they will just love the snow and lingering below freezing temps I will have here the next 3 nights. Yeah Minnesota!
    Improving the health of lawn trees in my neighborhood one tree at a time.

  7. #7
    Sapling
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Big Lake, Minnesota
    Posts
    54

    RE: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    And to take my point to the next level here, we had zero inches, that's right 0" of snow here in central minnesota the whole 2 months of March & April, and now we are supposed to get 2-3" here tonight heading into the second week of May, Talk about a mood changer...
    Improving the health of lawn trees in my neighborhood one tree at a time.

  8. #8
    Oak
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Western NY, Zone 6
    Posts
    348

    RE: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    The biggest problem of early warm weather in the Spring is that cold snap which will hit after the buds decide to push new foliage. Mid or Late Spring frosts will cause leaf wilting and die back, but most shade and ornamental trees will recover without any long term damage. This article was published recently (in early May) which discusses some of the widespread damage late frosts caused with many Maples, oaks, etc. Many of my own trees (especially my Swamp White Oaks) were affected by late frosts so a good deal of their foliage is shriveled and blackened, but they have already begun to perk back up and push a lot of new shoot growth. Any vigorous, healthy tree will survive late Frosts in the Spring, and often you'll see a lot more growth that season as a result.

    http://www.thevalleyvoice.org/2010/0...o-trees/17403/

  9. #9
    Sapling
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Big Lake, Minnesota
    Posts
    54

    RE: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    Upperhand- I certainly agree with you it is not life threatening for healthy trees, but trees only have so much stored energy and haveing to push leaf buds out twice in the same month is a waste of energy that could better be used else where in growth of roots or branch sprouts. All my trees are very healthy, I only live on a 1/4 acre city lot that I had a house built on in 2002, old farm land it was. I have planted 7 trees to date now, 3 sunburst honeylocusts, 1 red maple, 1 Princeton gold Norway maple & 2 firefall freeman maples. With this late season frost it killed the buds/leafs on all 3 of my honeylocust and all 3 of my tiger eye sumac shrubs, other then those 6 plants tho everything else made it thru the mid may frost. All 6 of those plants have recovered to date and now have leaves on them. They are almost a month behind the maples now…oh well it could have been worse and they all look real healthy I'm sure the tree bio-stimulant I get from treehelp.com helps a ton, my trees really love that stuff and it is fairly cheap!

    Have a good day and make the growing season for all of our trees treat them well. Last year was a great one here in central MN.
    I hope this summer is as well it would be nice to have 2 good years in a row.
    Improving the health of lawn trees in my neighborhood one tree at a time.

  10. #10
    Oak
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Northern Minnesota-zone 3
    Posts
    300

    RE: Warm March Weather, a bad thing for the trees??...

    The spring green up was a rather long, drawn out affair here in Bemidji. The trees began to turn green in late April, which is pretty unusual since average late April temps see highs in the upper 50s and lows just above freezing. But just as the buds were popping and the leafing began, we had 2 weeks of cold weather in early May that put everything to a stop. On May 9th we had about 2 inches of snow.

    The oaks were smart and waited. The bur oaks didn't fully leaf out until just before Memorial weekend. The last two years it was mid June before they were all greened up. Even so, with heavy freezes in early May... the trees up here are used to it. The birch and popple can handle a freeze and all the flowering trees waited until afterwards to put on their show... so we were okay.

    Now with all the rain in May and June so far and cool temperatures, it is incredibly green up here!

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