As Hoosiers, we’ve come to understand that the weather can be a little unpredictable in this part of the world. This year has been no exception. We’re experiencing a later Spring than normal due to colder than normal temperatures in January – March. As such, certain tree varieties are budding slower than others and newly transplanted trees can take an additional 2-3 weeks longer to bud out even still. It’s nothing to be alarmed about.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “What’s the deal then? Why isn’t my tree budding?” Well, in order for a tree to bud properly, it must first go through prolonged exposure to colder temperatures before subsequent exposure to warmth forces the buds to break. These environmental cues trigger physiological responses in trees, altering the balance of hormones and enzymes involved in promoting and inhibiting growth. The exact temperatures and exposure duration needed to break dormancy varies by tree varieties and geographic location. Some species need weeks of chilling, some need months.
Essentially, we’ve experienced longer than average cold temperatures without enough warm temps to start the chain reaction. Rest assured that process is taking place; it is just taking longer than normal.