Most people think of redbuds and dogwoods, when tree flowers are mentioned. Those are big and showy.
Most trees don’t have big, showy flowers. They have small flowers. Some have small flowers and catkins.
Around here, the silver maples bloom first. Their clumps of red cup flowers burst after a few warm days. They often get frozen, but seem to be cold hardy.
The next tree flowers belong to the elms.
Slippery elm is common on my hills. It is one of three listed for Dent County. The other two are American elm and winged elm.
There were American elms on my hills. They have died.
I think there are winged elm along the road. It tends to be a small tree in fence rows. I’m still checking for it.
Elms bloom before putting out leaves. I use leaves to identify trees. Elm blooms as a group are easy to spot. The kind is not, for me.
I should have spotted and labeled these elms last summer or fall. Leaves fell before I got to the elms.
There is a lovely elm at a local conservation area. Getting a picture of the tree was easy. So was the bark. Not even my hook stick could reach the branches.
I was in luck. The tree is next to a parking area. I pulled my truck up under the tree and climbed into the bed. Not high enough. The cab roof worked.
So I now have pictures of the winter tree, bark, buds and flowers of this elm. Which elm is it? I’ll find out this summer when the leaves come out along with the seeds.
My stick was long enough to snag a branch of elm tree flowers along my road. I’m pretty sure this is a slippery elm, but will wait for the leaves. The flowers were a different color, so I suspect is isn’t the same elm as the other one.
March weather this year is a yoyo. Warm and cold fronts kick each other back and forth every few days. Warm days tempt the trees to break bud. Cold days warn them to wait.
Several trees have labels on them. I’m waiting for them to bloom. Their buds are swelling. Every week I need to go by and look or I will miss these tree flowers.
I don’t want to wait another year for my pictures.