Apr 27 2015
What a slow spring! Last week it snowed in western Pennsylvania. With an inch on the ground in Du Bois, Marianne Atkinson noticed that the forsythia blossoms stood out but they looked very odd.
In her own yard the forsythia had flowered near the ground but the top looked dead. Did other shrubs have this problem? As she traveled around town she took photos of other forsythia bushes and discovered that all of them looked like this. The buds on top were winter-killed.
Why were the bottoms of the bushes OK? With a little research Marianne found:
We had a second very cold winter in a row, with occasional temperatures in the well below 0 range. We also had about 18 inches of snow cover for about 2 ½ months this winter. I thought that the snow cover may have acted as insulation for the lower forsythia flower buds and it is true! You can read about this phenomenon in the links below:
How cold was it? Here’s a photo of last winter’s record in Marianne’s backyard. -19 degrees Fahrenheit!
Last winter left its mark this spring.
(photos by Marianne Atkinson)