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Warm temperature brings early bloom

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- An unseasonably warm February has trees and plants blooming early all over Lawton.

It was the warmest February Lawton has seen in twenty years.

The forecast for the month of March calls for more of the same, and near normal rainfall.

These temperatures will allow us to continue seeing the spike of new blooms.

High temperatures in the month of February may be good if you are looking to switch out your pants for shorts, but it's making some gardeners concerned.

Keith Hall, marketing manager of Lawton’s Farmers Market said he's already witnessed many plants and trees bloom this month.


"There are different varieties of trees that respond to warm weather. Typically, they will get bit back by a frost later probably. Some grasses there's even some early weeds that are coming out. Some sunflowers and kosher weeds and stuff like that they will get bit back by the frost also."

Oasis Tree Company owner, Waylon Stricklin said he believes that frost could happen as early as June.

"Even though that's the summer time I think we will start dropping a little bit at that point,” said Stricklin. “It would be a good time to start looking at the flowers."

Bradford pear trees are just one of the plants blooming early this season.

The trees change from bud to cluster and then into a king flower which are the white flowers we see blooming.

However, those beautiful white flowers may not be around for long if we see variations of cold and warm temperatures.

Stricklin said to protect Bradford trees specifically or any plant through weather changes a certain protocol needs to be followed.

"People need to look at pruning what appears to be weak,” said Stricklin. “The ice storm we had five years ago caused a lot of trees to not have enough nutrients because they were trying to build themselves back up. And we had another ice storm just a month and a half."

Hall said if we continue this route it could potentially put crops at risk.

"If it stays this warm and we have some peach trees, apricot trees or even pecan trees go to budding out then we have a hard freeze in April or so or late march it could devastate those crops."

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