SPRING has sprung – but it’s still winter.
Plants and trees, confused by extended warm spells amidst cooler bouts of weather, have decided to blossom before they’re supposed to.
Former Gardening Clubs of Australia director of zones Marcia Ajani, of Hanging Rock, said she’d noticed many fruit trees had been flowering early.
It was a worry, she said, because the North West Slopes and Plains might still experience some frosts which could damage any early-setting fruit.
She had also noticed rhododendrons and camellias flowering too early: normally they came out in September.
“The biggest thing – and one which will cause the most problems – are the fruit trees,” she said.
“There’s no real danger to plants except for the fruit trees – it doesn’t matter if bulbs get a frost.”
She said it was the changeable nature of the season creating the confusion: there was no constant low temperature to regulate plant cycles.
“But plants are resilient,” she said.
“I have been saying for some years now that the seasons are getting later ... (this winter is) not a winter as such. That would be a big problem if our seasons change – but we adjust.”
Tamworth Nursery horticulturalist Hether MiLane said many plants were “completely out of whack”.
“Everything’s early, everything’s shooting,” Ms MiLane said.
An apple tree at her place did not drop its leaves in winter and had started flowering early.
“It’s across the board,” she said.
“Roses in the nursery are in full leaf. They really should, at this time of year, be pretty much bare, with buds just starting to get plump.”