Yesterday we noticed willow trees budding, and today the black currant bushes (image). Should not be a fall activity.
Comments from LEO Editors:
This observation has been forwarded to ecologists at the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Black currants are found in dense woods and wet coastal forests, and generally bloom in late March to early May, fruiting during the summer. Ecologists at IARC are interested in whether or not woody plants, such as the currants, are blooming at unusual times in response to warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons. As seen in the graphic below, daily temperatures in Seldovia were above the normal average high temperature for much of the summer and into fall. Woody plants pre-form their buds for next year, but budding or blooming late in the season before winter sets in, can delay blooming during the spring. Changes in the timing of blooms can cause some plants to miss important pollination events. Source: Native Plants Pacific Northwest, Trailing Black Currant species profile
Warmer temperatures are likely behind the budding willows. In an Anchorage Daily News article published on November 7th, research botanist Justin Fulkerson comments that the budding willows in November are "unprecedented." He notes that willows normally bud in March or April and are confused by the unusually warm fall temperatures. Erica Lujan