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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The cold snap of the past few days should not harm most Tennessee trees and flowering ornamentals, which long ago adapted to the possibility of freezing temperatures during the spring budding season.

Dr. Wayne Clatterbuck, forester with the University of Tennessee Agriculture Extension Service, said Wednesday that bud break in most trees does not occur all at once.

 “Some buds come out early and some come later,” Clatterback said. “If early buds are injured during a spring frost, other buds that haven’t started to grow take over.”

 Species that begin the budding process early include the red maple, elm, fruit trees and many flowering ornamentals. The latest trees to break bud are hickory, walnut and pecan, Clatterback said.

 Temperatures that drop just to the freezing point — 32 degrees Fahrenheit — are not low enough to cause bud damage.

 “We don’t often see bud damage above 28 degrees,” Clatterback said.


 Contact: Dr. Wayne Clatterbuck (423-974-7346)