Unseasonably warm temperatures lead to early spring blooms at The Morton Arboretum

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A warmer February than expected has led to early spring blooms in the Naperville area.

“Warm weather corresponds with leaf out and flowering for our flowering trees,” said Plant Clinic manager at The Morton Arboretum Spencer Campbell. “Our trees are emerging sooner than we would expect.”

According to Campbell, some trees and plants are flowering more than a month early.

“(Blooms are) on average about 21 days early,” said Campbell. “We need to re-think our garden calendar. Traditionally we’d say last frost is somewhere around mid-May. Now, we recommend folks watch a ten-day forecast to predict the last frost. The trees over time will adjust to these temperatures and then they will complete their life cycle just like normal as we’d expect.”

Arboretum offers spring update on flowering plants

The Morton Arboretum has offered a Spring Bloom Report about budding flowers and trees on its campus each year since 1998. The first 2024 edition was released on March 1, marking the earliest post in a calendar year since the report’s inception.

“That report will document the type of plants that you’ll see here at the Arboretum and also in your homes and neighborhoods that are also flowering,” said Campbell. “It’s an opportunity to see the season progress. Our past Bloom Reports are accessible online, so that gives you an idea of what to look for. We’ll have the most up-to-date, current information based off phenological data that’s been recorded on the grounds.”

Campbell is excited for area residents to enjoy the spring blooms at the Arboretum, even if it is a few weeks early.

“It’s my favorite time of year watching the woodlands wake up to see the trees and the flowers emerge,” said Campbell. “There’s a great opportunity here on the grounds to see a multitude of different flowering plants.”

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