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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Area dogwood trees are drought stressed now, but an abundance of buds promises a pretty spring next year, a University of Tennessee horticulture professor said Thursday.

Dr. Don Williams of the UT Agricultural Extension Service said many leaves have curled up and fallen to the ground, but most of the trees should survive.

“In the 1980s the dogwoods that are now four or five inches in diameter survived four of the driest years on record,” Williams said.

The area has seen no significant rain since early August, but that hasn’t hurt bud formation, Williams said.

“There is a tremendous bud crop setting on the trees right now,” said Williams, who traces the abundance of buds to last spring.

“The dogwoods didn’t flower very well, so they didn’t set many berries. And because they didn’t use up much energy setting berries, they had it to put into a good bud crop. That’s how nature works.”

Contact: Don Williams (423-974-7324)