It’s not at all uncommon for us to have mild winters down here. What’s really uncommon for us is to have balmy winters down here. What does balmy mean? It means temperatures in the 80s with humidity in the 90s. And not just an odd day here or there, but days on end. We had a couple of very cold nights about a week or so ago, with temps in the low 20s. We even got some freezing rain and sleet, which I wrote about. Then it warmed up. And kept on getting warmer. We’re going to cool off a bit in the next few days – powerful storms rolled through the South a couple of days ago – but all in all we’ve been consistently above-normal this winter.
A phenomenon I’ve written about before has resurfaced this year. Some of the bald cypresses I collect come from locations a hundred miles south of where I am. These trees tend to start budding out in February. Even though I’ve relocated a number of these trees northward, they tend to bud out very early as if they were still at “home.” Here’s one that’s decided to start pushing buds now.
I don’t have any idea what the remainder of winter will bring, temperature-wise, but if we don’t get a killing freeze this tree will continue to push buds all the way through to spring. Today I went ahead and did some trimming and a minor bit of wiring. I’m considering changing pots, and if I do it’ll have to happen fairly soon. I’ll post an update. This tree is developing good ramification now, so I’ll need to pay closer attention to how the branches and sub-branches are positioned. You can also see that I’ve left two strong shoots in the apex. Their purpose is to thicken the leader and smooth the tapering transition. I should have this chore completed in another season or two.
BC collecting season is upon us. I should have some new material coming in within the next two weeks. For those of you on our BC wish list, you should expect to hear from us when these trees start budding. More on that to come.