Discover Nature Through Flowering Spring Trees in Missouri

According to Missouri Department of Conservation Forestry experts, if we start getting more normal weather, dogwoods and redbuds could bloom early this year. So plan an early spring outdoor adventure to see flowering trees.

Eastern Redbud
Eastern Redbud

But all bets are off if the thermometer continues the yo-yo behavior we’ve had over the past month. Extremely cold weather can actually cause flowering trees to blossom earlier than they might under more normal conditions. If things take a turn toward more average spring weather, we could start seeing redbud blossoms very soon, and dogwoods not far behind.

Serviceberry and redbuds typically start blooming in late March. Dogwood flowers typically open in mid-April, though the actual date in any given year can vary by as much as three weeks.

The timing of tree flowering and green-up is affected to some degree by day length. Assuming there is no late cold snap, the rapid shift from late extreme cold to unseasonably warm weather is likely to speed up flowering and associated changes in all trees, not just dogwoods and redbuds.

Tree buds and new growth also take on visible colors in the spring. New twigs are not always green. They can be red or orange, depending on species. Swelling buds can also turn attractive reds, oranges, and yellows, adding subtle dimensions to spring colors.

Trees in urban settings normally bloom earlier than those in the wild, due to heat retention by asphalt and concrete.

Downy Serviceberry
Downy Serviceberry

The following routes provide good viewing for those who want to take a road trip see wild trees in bloom.

  • Highway 19 between Montgomery City and Thayer
  • Highway 5 between Versailles and Gainesville
  • Highway 142 between Doniphan and Bakersfield
  • Highway 72 between Cape Girardeau and Rolla
  • Highway 63 between Columbia and Thayer
  • I-44 between Eureka and Rolla
  • Highway 50 between Eureka and Jefferson City
  • Highway 60 between Poplar Bluff and Springfield

Click here for more information about Missouri’s native, spring-flowering trees such as flowering dogwood.

And an added bonus for allergy sufferers: an early blooming schedules could shorten the time when spring breezes are laden with tree pollen – great news!

Written by Joe Jerek, news service coordinator from the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

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