Northern forests likely to see an early spring

Monday, February 4, 2013

The yearly south-to-north wave of spring green may begin weeks earlier due to continually warming temperatures with some trees springing into action earlier than others.

Late-budding trees, such as the red maple, will likely be the most affected over the next hundred years. Red maples may begin leafing out 8 to 40 days earlier than in the 20th century. Trees in northern states, such as Maine, New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin, will experience the greatest quickening of spring.

An earlier spring also means that trees will begin their yearly inhale of carbon dioxide earlier, which could increase the total amount of the gas that they absorb in a year.