Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Latest Signs of Early Spring

Posted by okiedawn Z7 OK (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 16, 12 at 16:40

It was bound to happen. We've been in the upper 70s and lower 80s in our county this week. So, the crane flies are hatching and the June bugs, aka May beetles, are out as well. Today I have the company of grasshoppers in the garden. Those hoppers are uninvited and unwelcome guests.

In the flower beds, the French hollyhocks (Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina' and 'Mystic Merlin') are blooming and have been for several days. While the spring peepers and tree frogs have been out for weeks, this week the big bull frogs in the lily pond awoke from their slumber and are out croaking in their big, deep voices every afternoon and evening. My calendar says mid-March but my yard and garden and its little ecosystem say late-April.

Is anyone else seeing continuing signs of an early spring warm-up?

Dawn


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Dawn things are really escalating here. The Silver Maple is 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule. I need to check the asparagus bed as it appeared it was ready to bust through the mulch the other evening but I never dug down. Everything here is ahead of schedule. Although I'm still cautious I'm surging on either ahead of normal for most activities. Potato planting will be ahead of the last few years but about average overall. I have tomatoes blooming. I should be seeing little greenies before long. Weeds are germinating. I will take the soil temps in the garden later today but know they are approaching the 60's if not there. We have had highs in the 80's and lows in the upper 40's most of the week. So things are changing daily here. Jay


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 16, 12 at 17:13

My yoshino cherry is in full bloom exactly one week earlier than last year and my tulips came up and bloomed a week and a half earlier. I even have canna popping up.

Mike


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Redbuds began blooming this week in OKC. False Garlic is blooming. Blueberries blooming, Ribes odoratum blooming, Lonicera flava blooming. Foliage is up on Asters, Cuphea ignea 'David Verity', False Nettle, Blackberry Lily, Aristolochia tomentosa, A. macrophylla, Monarda didyma, Gaillardia suavis, Hydrangea, Baptisia australis, Black Willow and Wild Cherry are leafing out. Dianthus is blooming.

Dawn, the Crane flies are numerous. I have about a mouth full n a daily basis - yuck!

Susan


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Dawn, I told you my redbuds weren't blooming, but I lied. They are covered in blooms. They are at the very back of our lot behind some storage buildings, and I just hadn't noticed until today. Some time this week they must have popped out. Guess I have had my head down and my fingers in the dirt too much.

We moved a peony last year and I have always read that they didn't like to be moved, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that it is coming up.

I got a lot more done in the garden today. I have been so far behind, but I am closing the gap a little now. If I can get a couple more hours in tomorrow, then I can relax a little. Maybe I can use the rainy weather to plant summer crops inside.


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Susan, Every time we open the door at night, a crane fly (or more than one) flies in. Two nights ago, our almost year-old kitten (Tiny Baby, because he once was a tiny baby) broke a lamp trying to get the crane fly that was flying around the light bulb.

Carol, I understand that. When I am planting, I can be oblivious to everything going on around me.

I forgot to mention to y'all that both the Possumhaw and Burford hollies are in bloom, and there's a million bees out there in the yard doing their thing.

Dawn


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

My pecans are sprouting. The pear tree is already blooming. I found a Japanese beetle larvae while digging. It was only two inches into the soil. And, my goodness, the grape hyacinths are abundant this year and the bees get angry and don't share well. Everything is saying spring. I quietly say to the buds on the trees, "I wouldn't do that if I were you." but they're not listening.


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Everything is early here too. The redbuds are in full bloom and the dogwoods are starting to open too. The wild plums are blooming. Our plum is dropping petals as is the almond. The peach in full bloom. The Montmorency Cherry and the pears opening up. The daffodil bloom is nearing the end. The white Thalias are open now. The yellow singles and the Ice Follies have finished and only the white narcissus are left.

There are dozens of wasps flying around the eaves of every building on the place, and INSIDE the greenhouse because we left the door open to get more air inside. I used to take a laissez-faire attitude to wasps but that was before one granddaughter started reacting violently to their stings. Now we spray relentlessly.

And the other day I killed a mosquito in the car. The little lizards are out and about as are the frogs and toads. Haven't seen a snake yet though.


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

My Avalon narcissus is in full bloom - forgot to mention. So pretty. I love the light lemon petals and white cups.

Today when cleaning up the garden - lots of things up, including passion vine, Dicliptera suberecta or King's Crown, Cuphea 'David Verity', Hop Vine, oriental and trumpet and Formosa lilies, Salvias 'Hot Lips' and 'Cherry Queen' have leafed out, and 'Black & Blue' and darcyi are up from the ground, Pincushion Daisy, Coneflowers, Clematis 'Polish Spirit'. Its just mindboggling to see everything up this soon.

Susan


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Our Autumn Sage - Furman's Red - is in full bloom; kept its leaves over the winter and started with a few flowers late last week, and is now practically covered in blooms. Been picking eggs off the broccoli, watching the cabbage white butterflies visiting each and every plant. sheesh
Our street is lined with oak trees, and every one is covered in catkins since Friday. I've begun to believe that there is no final bout of frigid temps left in the winter. But, we shall see...


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Spring is in full swing here, too. The cats have been dragging in snakes and crawdads for a few weeks now. The bees have been going nuts and I'm afraid they'll swarm. I was going to go out and do some maintenance on the hives a few days ago to give them some more room but I didn't get to it before I fell. Saw a June bug this past week and the wasps have been out scouting for whatever it is they scout for.

All of my herbs are up and awake. Self-seeded loose leaf lettuces have been up for quite a while. The peach & pear trees all bloomed a few days back, I think the nectarines & plums as well. I think the apples may be trying today. I do know it's already time to mow the grass.

It's awfully difficult keeping up with all of the spring goings on out there!

Diane


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

DH and I spent this weekend seeing some of the sights in Dallas, and the wisteria at the Ft. Worth zoo was in full bloom. My crabapple and forsythia are blooming now, and it looks like the dogwood will be soon. It's a cornus/kousa hybrid, so I think it always blooms a little bit later than the cornus dogwoods. My lilacs are leafing out, but it doesn't look like they'll bloom anytime soon.

At this point I think the shorter list is what's NOT budding or blooming. The chaste trees aren't doing much yet, but I remember that they were the last thing to emerge from dormancy last year.

As things come back to life I'm finding some casualties of 2011. Our silver maple and one of my lilac bushes have died, and the snowball viburnum died back to the roots. At least the viburnum is still small enough that I can just prune off the dead stems and let it grow back.

I'm not sure what to do to replace the tree. I had planned to just pick up a nice sized Chinese Pistache tree from Marcum's to plant in the same spot, but I also received four free trees with some raspberry plants I ordered. It looks like they're all some kind of maple now that they're leafing out, but they're little more than foot-tall twigs. It'll take awhile for them to reach the size of the one that died, and I haven't had much luck keeping trees that small alive. But hey, they were free!


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

I grow my trees in pots up to about 3 gallon before planting them out. I think that helps give them a better start, Miraje.

Susan


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

That's probably a good idea. I have tons of plastic containers sitting around from all the trees and shrubs I've brought home, and then I could put the pots somewhere where the rabbits can't reach them and DH can't mow them down.


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Mike, My cannas sent up new growth in February, froze back on a night when we went to 23 degrees, and now have put out new growth again that is up several inches.

Susan, Some of my perennial salvias kept their leaves all winter. It has been such a odd winter with so little really cold temps.

I agree that it is mind-boggling to have everything up early, growing early and blooming early.

Carol, I hate those cabbage whites! They showed up in the yard even before I had the brassicas out of the greenhouse and transplanted into the ground. Our oaks are leafing out and some have not just tiny leaves but some leaves that already are an inch or two long.

If you're supposed to plant your corn when the leaves on the white oak are as large as a squirrel's ear, then it is corn planting time here. (And I do have my early corn in the ground and the growing tips emerged last week.0

Heather, When I have young trees with small root systems, I grow them on in pots for a year or two until they are large enough to tolerate the summer temps/drought without too much extra watering. That's what I do with figs, for example. With tiny oaks that we transplant from our woodland to our yard, I dig the trees with as much root below-ground as top growth above ground and plant them right into the ground. Because they top growth is not too big for the amount of root growth they have, they'll outgrowth purchased trees that start out 10 to 20 times taller than them. I have to cage the tiny oaks or Tim will accidentally mow them down duirng their first year. We're in our 14th year here and oak trees that were only 6 to 12" tall when we transplanted them about 10 or 11 years ago are now significantly taller than our two-story house.

Our latest sign of spring is that the irises have begun blooming. Yesterday I got all the ones that had buds about to open since rain is so hard on the flowers, and the buds are blooming in a vase in the kitchen this morning. Usually they bloom right around Easter.

Dawn


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Right now the four trees are planted in my old strawberry bed next to the house and have leafed out already there. In that spot they're protected from the mower and have a rabbit cage around them. Plus, it's one of the better watered spots because it catches all the water coming off the roof. The only bad thing is that they only get half a day of sun. I suppose I could just leave them there rather than potting up. They arrived as bareroot trees and had pretty long roots on them when I planted them. Not quite as long as the tree stem, but close.

Is there a way to identify what kind of maple they are?


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Once they have leaves, you should be able to tell by leaf shape. Hopefully they are one of the better-quality maples and not one of the really fast-growing, weak-wooded ones.


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Unfortunately it looks like they are all silver maples. I was okay with having one silver maple tree, but I'm not sure I want four. If anyone wants one, I can bring the others to the swap.


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

That is too bad. We had a silver maple in Fort Worth and it was probably 15 or 20 years old when we bought that house. We left it because it shaded the west side of the house, but it was not my favorite tree. It had those large surface roots that were difficult to deal with, and we had to deal with thousands of those crazy seeds every spring. If we didn't rake them and dispose of them, little silver maples sprouted everywhere. I probably wouldn't have minded that tree so much if it had been way back in the back yard far from the house. The last time we drove by our old house a couple of years ago, that silver maple was still there. It is probably at least 40 years old and is huge.

My latest sign of spring is that my bluebonnets started blooming yesterday. Now it really feels like spring! Usually the bluebonnets bloom about a week after Easter at our house, or sometimes two weeks after.

I saw bluebonnets blooming in Denton yesterday while garden shopping and was jealous. I thought to myself "I wish my bluebonnets were blooming" and then when we arrived home, they were!


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

I'm getting ready to pay big $$ to have my silver maple taken down. I've already had one taken out a few years ago. This one was planted underneath/beside the electrical lines (eyeroll) and now it also hanging over a neighbor's garage. OGE chops at it every year. It's bugged me since I bought the house.

Next week....it'll be GONE.

Lisa


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

I imagine it could be a good shade tree if planted in a good spot away from buildings, roads, powerlines...pretty much everything. I did a bit more research last night, and it looks like some of the silver maple/red maple hybrids like 'Autumn Blaze' have very similar leaf shapes to the silver maple. So, I'm holding out hope that it's one of those instead. It does seem like the lobes are not quite as deeply cut as all the silver maple leaf pictures I saw. I'm trying to be optimistic. :)


 o
Maple trees

I just called the nursery I ordered them from, and they say they're Red Maples. I still think they're a Red/Silver hybrid judging from the leaf shape (not like red maple at all), but hey...that's good news! It's supposed to be a very highly rated nursery, so I would hope they wouldn't send me a jillion silver maples. Woo hoo!


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Lisa, I can't say that I blame you. Are you going to plant another type of tree there? Enlarge the perennial beds? What's the plan?

Heather, I hope it is one of the hybrids like Autumn Blaze. I think Silver Maples would be okay far from any structure, roadway, sidewalk, etc. where the surface roots could be an issue. Ours was always healthy.

As the leaves grow and enlarge, it should be easy to figure out what you've got and then if you don't like it, you can kill it. Well, that sounds mean, but you know what I mean...you could remove it and send it to Tree Heaven if you don't like it.

Dawn


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

We have a silver maple in our front yard that was planted before we bought the place. It's still young but getting tall now, maybe 12-15'? I've read that they're weak trees and, from what you've all said here, I think you agree? It's too near the house for my comfort so I've been meaning to do away with it. I just hate killing anything unless it's filling my freezer. But, if you guys agree it needs to go, I'll take care of it this weekend.

Diane


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Diane,

Like almost all fast-growing trees, Silver Maples tend to be weak-wooded and prone to disease. It also has surface roots that worsen over the years as the tree grows ever larger. The surface roots won't be a huge issue unless the tree is near enough to the house, a patio or a sidewalk to lift the concrete and cause damage.

Although it is not my favorite tree, I don't especially dislike it. We kept the one in Fort Worth because its shade was the only shade we had on the west side of our house and I felt like the kitchen would have been unbearably hot on summer afternoons without it. I couldn't get anything much to grow in the soil under it because those big surface roots took up most of the space and apparently greedily sucked up the water too. Even normally rampant ground cover type plants couldn't compete with it and survive under it.

So, whether to remove it or not is, to me, a personal thing based on whether you like the look of it, whether it gives you any trouble, or whether you'd just like to replace it with a better-quality tree now as opposed to 5 or 10 years from now when it develops pest or disease issues. Also, if it is anywhere near a planting bed of any type, when it sheds its seeds, they tend to pop up everywhere and have to be pulled out.

I think if it were in my yard near the house and it was not essential for shading the house, I'd take it out and replace it with a high-quality tree.

Fort Worth organic gardening guru Howard Garrett, aka The Dirt Doctor, is very blunt and tells it like it is. I've linked the description of the Silver Maple from his website because it makes me laugh every time I read it. He doesn't sugarcoat things, and when people would call in to his radio show with problems with silver maples, as you might imagine, he'd tell them to get rid of the tree and replace it with a better one. As you'll notice, he disses the mimosa in his answer, and I absolutely love mimosa and planted one here years ago for the hummingbirds, so I don't always agree with The Dirt Doctor. However, my mimosa is near my garden so I can watch the hummers visit its flowers, and it is not in a prominent place in the landscape. I wouldn't have put it up close to the house because, like almost all fast-growing trees, it too is weak-wooded and prone to insect problems. That doesn't make me love it any less, it just makes me keep it more in an out-of-the-way location.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Silver Maple Tree Info From Howard Garrett's Website


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Another sign of spring - one of the group of Black Swallowtail chrysalises emerged yesterday - a pretty little female! I released her into the garden. I have about 14 to go.

Susan


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Thanks for the info, Dawn! Too funny -- I feel the same way about mimosas that Howard does. Can't stand them!!

So, yep, this has cemented my idea that the silver maple needs to die. Die, tree, die!! :-D

I've got several fruit trees planted throughout the front and side yard now, at a nice distance from the house. Trees too close to buildings have always made me very nervous because, sooner or later, they're going to come down. And, as long as I'm going to have trees, they might as well feed me and/or our animals.

Diane


 o
RE: Latest Signs of Early Spring

Diane, You're welcome. Objectively, I know that mimosa is a trash tree and I'd never plant it if I had a small yard, and I'd never plant it in a really prominent location. Subjectively, we had a big one in our front yard when I was a kid and I spent many summer days playing under that tree, and watching the hummingbirds come to visit it. That tree lasted about 15 years which isn't bad for a trash tree. So, having one here now is just mostly a sentimental thing. I figure it will croak before Tim and I do and Chris inherits this place, so Chris won't be stuck dealing with it.

I have fruit trees in the front yard and side yard too, and not too close to the house either. I agree that the trees might as well be the kind that provide something edible. We planted tons of oak trees for shade, so at least we did that part right. They are quality trees that should live forever. We transplanted native oaks from the woods, so we know they're adapted to our soil and climate. We're up to 9 fruit trees now from our original 3 and I don't think I'm through planting new fruit trees yet.

Dawn


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here