Weird question on phenology

Robert Strauss STRAUSS at uncavx.unca.edu
Mon Oct 3 20:02:19 EST 1994


Please forgive me if this is not appropriate to this group, though I think I
would get more erudite thoughts here, than in rec.gardens.

In Asheville, this year, the trees are coloring very early. In fact, the Maples
(Sugar maples) began earlier than in the north (i.e., NY State). I had always
assumed this would be related to weather conditions. I.e., Asheville (NC) is
warmer than further north. At least then interior north. This year, however, I
began wondering. Is it possible that plants have a "length of season" that is
fairly fixed? So that in NY, for example, the season might be 5.5 months, and
here it might be 6.1 months. Season being from first leafing out until color
comes. Thus, my idea is that this year, since we had a very early spring here,
and did NOT have (for once!) a late frost, the season has been reached and
plants have been green for their fixed time, so they are turning.

Any ideas? I have collected observations (phenology) since 1961, though that
was in NYC.

Another thought this year: that Forsythia double-blooming (spring and fall) is
the norm, rather than the exception. It is VERY pronounced here, this year. Any
good articles on these subjects would be appreciated.
Thanks,

Bob Strauss
climatologist and librarian
strauss at unca.edu



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