Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Cherry Blossom Blitz!


Photo courtesy of Ashley Bradford
As we celebrate the first day of spring and the launch of our spring campaign, “Cherry Blossom Blitz,” it seems like spring got a head start in much of the country!  I had hoped to catch the Washington DC cherry blossoms at peak when I visit there late next week, but saw several news pieces over the weekend telling me I’ll be a little late.  Last night, the early bloom of the tidal basin cherry trees caught the attention of the “PBS NewsHour” with a piece featuring Dr. Soo-HyungKim, a colleague from University of Washington who is studying cherry phenology and has used Project BudBurst data for some of his work.  He projects cherry trees could be blooming in late February in Washington DC toward the end of the century if the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate scenarios play out as predicted.

Meanwhile, here in Chicago we continue to break temperature and phenological records.  We also have ornamental cherries (Prunus spp.) in bloom, as well as flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa), and even some early tulips (Tulipa spp.).  We typically see tulips blooming around Mother’s Day!  Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) are just coming into bloom, as are white trout lilies (Erythronium albidum). The crabapples (Malus spp.) and Juneberries (Amelanchier spp.) are in bud and not far behind.  And as a sure sign of spring, tonight I’ll harvest the first batch of asparagus out of the garden for dinner! 

Please let us know what’s happening in your neighborhood!  Are you experiencing a remarkably early spring also?

Kay Havens-Young 




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