A spring of beautiful flowers is expected in the UK amid ideal conditions | Trees and forests

The UK is set for a spring of beautiful blooms, after a heat wave followed by a cold snap in early February put trees in peak condition.

Gardeners at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have been studying the buds on trees in their gardens across the country. They say the buds indicate the trees will be in bloom this spring because of ideal conditions last year for bud formation and also because early flowering has been prevented by the cold this February.

This means that the flowering period will potentially be longer. Hopefully the risk of them being ‘struck’ by frost will lessen as the season progresses and there will be more fruit as a direct result later in the year.

Guy Barter, head gardener at the RHS, said: “The spring bloom is special every year, but this year the light and warmth of last summer has fostered a promising crop of flower buds indeed. These buds have had plenty of cold this winter, which they require (officially called a chill factor expressed in hours at around 6C) to ‘free’ them to bloom once spring warms.

“Ornamental cherry trees, arguably the best of all flowering trees, hardy any spring frost and are reliably glorious. Apples and other fruit blossoms, however, are very vulnerable to late frosts. This cold February means the fruit trees will not bloom early. This is good as it means they are more likely to escape a late spring frost that can prevent fruit formation.”

Some were concerned that last year’s intense heat and drought might have weakened the trees, but they managed to pull through well, perhaps because of their deeper roots. The trees also benefited from extra warmth and light. Other shallower-rooted plants were not so lucky, and some trees, including apple trees, did not have enough ‘chill hours’ in early winter, because it was mild in September and October, to produce good fruit.

ignore previous newsletter promotion

However, cherry blossoms and other trees are expected to thrive because early February, in particular, was colder than usual in Britain. The RHS expects the cherry blossom season in April to be particularly rich as trees respond quickly to the change in spring conditions from mid-March to early May, depending on the variety, and in some cases are protected from late frost. Each variety will bloom for about two weeks.

Leave a Comment