“The Weekly Bleat: Force of Nature”

One of my favorite posts from this time last year is about bringing a bit of color inside when it’s not quite spring outside. Forcing cuttings from trees/shrubs to flower out of season is an easy way to welcome springtime early.  🙂

fourth generation farmgirl

A few weeks ago, I decided to coax cuttings of a flowering cherry tree into an early performance in order to speed up spring. Persuading plants to flower out of season is known as forcing.  You can either trim branches from your yard or buy them from a florist.  There are a number of flowering trees and shrubs that you can choose for your trimmings.  I have a flowering cherry tree in my front yard.  So, that’s what I used.  However, flowering dogwood, redbud, flowering dogwood, saucer magnolia, flowering quince, or forsythia work well, too.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1.  Prune on a mild, late-winter day.  Branches are more pliable when temperatures are above freezing.  Most spring bloomers form flower buds on the previous season’s growth.

2.  Look for crowded branches that are no more than 1/2 inch in diameter, with numerous round, plump flower…

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