Thursday, December 24, 2015

Mele Kalikimaka

Ornamental cherry (Prunus cv.), Storrs, Connecticut, December 24, 2015.
 It was a warm autumn, and possibly will be a record-warm December, here in Connecticut. The whole season has been unusually toasty, but today was a practically tropical Christmas Eve, with temperatures already near the old record high in the low 60's early this morning, easily making an afternoon new record high of 69° F. The forecast is not quite as sultry for tomorrow, but still likely to be a new record for Christmas Day. It's almost been like early June, except with 15 hour nights and weak winter sun when the haze and fog briefly lifts during the day.

Dandelion (Taraxicum officinale) in flower, Christmas Eve 2015.
Out in the landscape, the native vegetation is staying in a state of seasonally appropriate dormancy, but lawn grass is still green. Dandelions have been flowering and even setting seed, and some of the early-blooming flowering cherries are nearly in full bloom, four months before their usual time. It's been a strange holiday season, weather-wise. The long range forecast indicates a return to something closer to seasonable conditions in New England in the New Year. I suspect that the shortage of winter chilling is going to have an adverse effect on the maple sugaring season, which in normal circumstances would be less than two months away. 


Mike M said...

Wonder if it harm trees that require a specific dormancy period?

Mike M said...

Wonder if it harm trees that require a specific dormancy period?

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Matt said...

Mike: excessive winter warmth can cause decline and death in temperate plants, but I suspect that the mild winter we're having now is still providing more than enough chilling to give the local vegetation a sufficient dormancy.