Magnolias in full bloom in Minneapolis

Phenology: Spring Awakenings forum so that folks can post their signs of spring and the vernal changes in the trees and forest.

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#1)  Magnolias in full bloom in Minneapolis

Postby Lee Frelich » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:22 pm

ENTS:

The earliest known arrival of spring has occurred in Minnesota this March. Snow is gone throughout northern MN and Upper Michigan. Ice out is occurring fast on Minnesota Lakes. The season's first tornado occurred Monday. In the last week, temperatures have been as much as 40 degrees above average. International Falls (on the border with Canada) has had several days with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s (mean high 36, previous record highs in the 50s), and had one night where the overnight low of 60 was equal to the record high for the date. Day after day, record high temperatures are being blown away at weather stations with >100 years of record, by 10-20 degrees. However, it is supposed to cool down soon, so that temperatures will only be 10-15 degrees above average.

In Minneapolis, almost all wind pollinated tree species are in full bloom, including elms and maples (average date first week of May), and oaks look like they are about to open up. I have never seen so many species give off their pollen at once. Spring ephemerals and magnolias are in full bloom!  I never thought I would live long enough to see Magnolias bloom in March in Minnesota.

Historically, this was the time of year that we had the biggest snow storms, but March is not even the snowiest month any more in the newly released climate 'normals' with data from 1981-2010.

Lee
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#2)  Re: Magnolias in full bloom in Minneapolis

Postby RyanLeClair » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:42 pm

Lee, how grave is this, in terms of global climate?
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#3)  Re: Magnolias in full bloom in Minneapolis

Postby Larry Tucei » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:07 pm

Lee,  Are those Magnolia Grandiflora?  They must be hybrids of some type. The native Magnolias in Ms. are not blooming yet but I noticed the tree in my yard has flowers forming. Time to move out of the Deep South it will be like South American wheather in the future. I guess I can move to Wisconsin - I can take the winters now!   Larry
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#4)  Re: Magnolias in full bloom in Minneapolis

Postby TN_Tree_Man » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:28 pm

Are those Magnolia Grandiflora? They must be hybrids of some type.


Larry,

No doubt those Minnesota magnolias are probably Oriental cultivars and not Magnolia grandiflora.  My experience from when I lived in Central Indiana (zone 5) was when these guys would begin to bloom (at the earliest warm spell), seasonable temps would come back and the flowers would turn to brown mush!

Steve Springer
"One can always identify a dogwood tree by it's bark."
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#5)  Re: Magnolias in full bloom in Minneapolis

Postby Chris » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:59 pm

Last edited by Chris on Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#6)  Re: Magnolias in full bloom in Minneapolis

Postby jamesrobertsmith » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:13 am

My nephew tells me that Virginia has just gone through its warmest winter in recorded history. Washington DC had a winter 2 degrees above normal.
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#7)  Re: Magnolias in full bloom in Minneapolis

Postby Lee Frelich » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:10 am

Ryan:

This is a signature event for global warming. There is no doubt that if this type of weather were to persist and become the normal climate, it would kill the boreal forest. I view this spring's weather as a time machine that allows us a short peek at what a typical spring might be like several decades from now as the climate continues to warm. This will not help the moose population in northern MN, which has been rapidly declining in the last few years. Moose can easily get heat stroke at these temperatures.

Larry:
Its not Magnolia grandiflora. I don't think that species can survive here (at least until all winters are like the one we just had). We have a few cucumber magnolias.  However, the ones in bloom, are I believe the star magnolia, (M. kobus var stellata), as well as some other Asian species. They usually bloom during the first week of May.

Chris:
Thanks for the time loop showing the bizarre and historic early spring. Its hard to believe that northern MN still has a mean daily low of 12-15 degrees, and highs of about 38 or 40, when its been in the 70s with lows in the 40s and 50s.

Lee
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