MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - You may have noticed that the trees are bare with very little budding or blooming yet. It may seem like it’s late. Typically the trees here in the south start as early as mid-March and are usually full of leaves by the end of April.
There are some things that can delay it like if the weather is too warm early in the winter season and if it lasts a while. This may signal to the trees that spring has arrived, but then when temperatures fall the seeds won’t germinate, which would affect the trees’ reproductive process.
If it’s a warm fall, this can also send the wrong signal to plants. When it’s warmer in the fall, it sends a message to the tree to go dormant, but they won’t have the right combination of day length and temperature to properly shut them down.
The problem is if we don’t have certain period of warm days in the spring, the trees may stay dormant. While they may have had the right number of cold days required during the winter, now we may not have enough warm days consecutively to wake them up or bring them out of dormancy. So this could cause a delay. Trees won’t do anything until they get signaled.
Another reason for a delay in bloom is early fall or late spring freezes, drought or harsh winter, which can cause bud death, forcing the tree to develop replacement buds, which can take more time. According to experts these issues usually result in partial leafing as opposed to the entire tree not producing leaves. If a whole tree does not leaf out, this can be an indicator of potential problems in the tree’s root system.
If rain occurs frequently over an long period of time, the air spaces in the soil can be filled with water. This may deprive the roots of the oxygen it needs.