Yesterday as the snow was falling covering all green with a sparkly coat of ice crystals and the wind was gusting through the landscape, tugging and pulling on every leaf and flower, I felt sorry for the trees. Like the early bloomers, the flowering cherry and plum, that were just beginning to open. The flowers so delicate and pure, getting pushed around by this weather. Getting whipped and bruised and rocked and torn from the trees in this late winter bluster. I was sad and expressed my thoughts to my daughter Tessa, of the wise-old age of eleven. Her response ‘It’s their fault! They shouldn’t be blooming now, they should bloom in the summer, when it’s nice’ .
What?? She’s blaming it on the trees? It’s their fault??? Perhaps it is their fault. For some reason they have gotten themselves into this mess in the first place. We have lovely summer bloomers like the Snowbell and Stewartia. We have late spring bloomer like the Magnolia and Dogwood. And then we have these early spring bloomers, like Prunus cerasifera, the flowering plum and Prunus serrulata, the flowering cherry. These trees dare to send out their tender petals in the face of danger. It’s still winter here, what are they thinking??? What is their strategy?
For fruit producers, they need to get an early start so they have time to ripen into something plump and juicy. Perhaps they avoid competition so there are enough pollinators to go around. Or maybe they just can’t wait to get started. They are the first ones in line, the first in the row, the first with their hands in the air, practically jumping out of their seats. Not interested in obtaining perfection in the sun and indifferent to the warm gentle season ahead, they brave the late winter winds to be one of the first to start the race towards spring. They have too much energy to be held back. They chant in unison ‘ready or not, here I come’! I think I’m with them on this, let’s get going!