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Warm temperatures are causing plants to bloom in December

By KRDO.com Staff
Published On: Dec 04 2012 04:33:59 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 04 2012 09:41:51 PM CST

Experts say warm temperatures are to blame for premature blooming of plants this year. They say this could lead to problems when spring arrives.

Above-average temperatures are continuing into the month of December, and this is causing some adverse reactions.

Plants and trees have begun budding and leafing around southern Colorado, something experts say could be detrimental to their growth during the springtime.

“It takes energy from the roots that should be used next spring when the weather does warm up.  So they’ve lost some food or energy for next spring,” said Dan Robinson, nursery manager at Spencer’s Lawn & Garden in Colorado Springs.

Robinson said there was a cold spell during the fall, which put the plants in a temporary dormancy, but with the recent string of warm days, the plants have begun to flourish.

The Stormtracker 13 Forecast is calling for a cold snap to move in late this week, but Robinson said if a plant is just budding it will survive the freeze.

“It takes quite a bit of cold weather to hurt a bud.  If the leaves are starting to break open, that’s a different story,” said Robinson.

He explained that a plant utilizes its root reserves in order to begin producing leaves.  Without these reserves, the plant will not have enough energy and food to grow to its full extent during the spring.  Therefore, this spring, Robinson said it is possible we will not see as many blooms.

He said the best thing people can do now is to ensure the plants and trees have plenty of water.  He said plants that are properly hydrated are more resistant to frost and freeze damage.

“Anything you can do to keep the plant full of water is very, very beneficial,” said Robinson.

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