Spring leaf out, Wisconsin neighbor already seeing buds

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, in full bloom in late April 2022 in Milwaukee

Bloodroot and many other native, early spring flowers to Wisconsin are still over a month away from flowering – but in some parts of the country they already are! 

Just about all the southern U.S. is nearly three-weeks earlier than average when it comes to spring leaf out according to the National Phenology Network. And those spring buds are halfway through Illinois meaning it's only a matter of time until we see green emerging in Wisconsin

Looking at a national map of where buds are coming out across the country, the southeastern U.S. is well ahead of schedule. The western U.S., thanks to their colder and wetter than average winter, is well behind. The Great Plains have been the divide of seemingly two different, polar opposite seasons. 

National Phenology Network has leaf out just reaching Indianapolis and slowly inching it's way toward Chicago

The type of spring the eastern U.S. is seeing so far is well ahead of average, and compared to historical timing, some are having their earliest springs ever. Other spots in the country are having a leaf out early enough that usually doesn't occur once every 10 to 20 years.

Much of the western U.S. is seeing minimal leaf out and is well behind average, but the eastern U.S. is a much different story

This does put plants at risk that emerge too early and could be impacted by late frosts, but generally, native species can produce secondary leaves to replace any damage that occurs.