Plants Budding Early Due To Warm Temperatures

Sunday, January 4th 2009, 5:34 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6

TULSA, OK - Some trees and plants have already started budding because of warm temperatures, but now it's cold again. This has some Tulsa homeowners concerned. Landscapers say their phones have been ringing off the hook.

Landscapers say the last few weeks have been the perfect storm -- unseasonably warm temperatures and low precipitation.

Steve Smith has been working with trees, plants and flowers for almost 40 years. He's seen it all, but this winter wild temperature swings are playing tricks.

Daffodils are starting to bloom.

"The last week or so when we got up here in the 70 degrees, oh yeah, the phone, I just couldn't get away from the phone," said Stephen Smith with Southwood Landscape.

For the last few weekends, temperatures have had a distinct summer feel. Many homeowners are wondering how the temperature will affect their backyards.

Smith says the combination of heat, warm winds and low precipitation will have an impact on plants once spring arrives.

"Worst case scenario -- the flowers that are first to come out on the early blooming plants, obviously before the foliage, they could get damaged and you could lose a certain percentage," said Smith.

The horticulturist says ordinary spring flowers, the ones you see in backyards and driving around town, might have up to a 40% loss of color.

"Warmer days, plants will transpire, lose moisture quicker, I think that's the biggest factor," said Smith.

If your thumb isn't green, you'll notice the big city trees are already budding, but Smith says the plants and trees will survive. It just might not be the prettiest spring in memory.

Right now, it's cold outside. Then, in the middle of the week temperatures will be 15 degrees above normal -- around and around we go.

Smith says to water your plants a lot, even now in winter.