Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Promise of Spring

The leafing out of trees is the biggest single transformation of spring.  It won't happen here for nearly another two months, but the buds on our trees begin to swell long before that.  You can fairly easily learn to identify trees by their buds too, without waiting for the leaves.  So I went out to check on some of our trees.

The buds on the Silver Maple branches are the most obvious in our yard.  You can tell how they've been expanding from 50 feet away.  This is the one tree that marks early spring here.

There are buds on all the trees of course, but some of them aren't really obvious, and others are still wrapped up tight.  These are the catkins on the White Birch, still completely closed.

The Blue Ash is unusual for this far north, but I planted about 3 to see if they would survive.  You can see the four sharp ridges on the twigs, which make it very easy to identify.

You can also tell very easily whether the branches will be alternate or opposite.  Opposite buds will of course grow into opposite twigs, so this is a White Ash.

And this is a Lilac shrub, which also has opposite buds and twigs.

The sharp little buds of the Sugar Maple are still totally closed.  Again, the buds and the twigs are opposite, though here the centre branch has been broken (or nipped) off.

The long sharp buds of the Beech tree are really unique, though not starting to unfold at all.  We only have one Beech, a small sapling I planted.

And this unusual lumpy looking twig and buds is a small Gingko sapling that is surviving here, if not growing very fast.  The key question is whether these buds look any different than they did in December!  It's the swelling of the buds that represents spring.  Certainly that's true for the first picture, the Silver Maple, but I don't know for the others.

Never- the-less, all these buds represent the promise of spring to me, and I will perhaps revisit them to show you.  Today was one of those early sunny spring days too, with our remaining snow disappearing fast as the temperature was well above freezing.  Hoping for more days like this, rather than reverting to winter!

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19 comments:

  1. Thanks to the changing climate, some of the silver maples here bloomed several weeks ago and then the flowers were killed when temperatures returned to normal. Buds are fascinating structures and it's almost always possible to identify tree species by their buds. You have some nice photos of the buds.

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  2. It will be interesting to watch their progress if you do photograph them...

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  3. The miracles of nature always amaze me, and to see buds and the start of leafy green is a delight after winter.Beautiful buds and descriptions.

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  4. They may not be leaves, but it's a step in the right direction.

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  5. I agree. Spring is budding.

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  6. Interesting post. I look forward to the progress!

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  7. I like your comparison pictures very much, so I'll be interested to see how these change over the weeks. Happy first day of spring! :-)

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  8. Very interesting. I never studied the buds of trees and many of these were familiar, but many others were something new to me.

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  9. I haven't looked at the buds in the last few days to see if they're starting to show, but I did notice robins on the weekend for the first time since the fall.

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  10. I noticed the willow trees yesterday and how yellow their branches are, an early sign of spring. Also, the apple trees are putting buds but won't be blooming until well into May. It's such a long wait for spring weather, flowers, grass and new growth here. We could still have lots more winter weather into April.

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  11. oh you are a bit of an expert, who knew?? these are all beautiful!!!!

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  12. Spring is definitely coming to your area... I hope it comes to mine --after several days of frigid weather... We had some freeze damage to several of our budding and blooming flowers... I hope that NOW the worst is over and that spring is finally here!!!! I HOPE.....

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  13. Things are looking up there . Lovely photos . Happy Spring to you . Buds are close to bursting here now to . Thanks for sharing , have a good evening !

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  14. So nice to see and hear about all the different kinds of buds. You are very knowledgeable.

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  15. How creative to take shots of the burgeoning buds. I like them all and their varieties.
    Clever.
    MB

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