Will warm weather make dogwoods bloom early?

After a warmer-than-average February, it looks like spring is coming earlier in East Tennessee. Plant experts say some plants are blooming early, but dogwoods should stay on track to bloom in April.

After a week of warm weather, plant experts say we don't need to panic about dogwood trees blooming early.

"Most dogwoods aren't open yet, they're still in buds," UT Extension's David Vandergriff said. "People, a lot of times if they see something blooming, they're not really sure what it is ... if it's white, it's probably a pear tree."

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Vandergriff said plants that normally bloom earliest, such as cherry trees and daffodils, already have because of the warm weather.

"They're a little ahead of schedule, they normally do bloom early, but we're a week, maybe two weeks, ahead," Vandergriff said.

After a week of warm weather, you may have seen some blossoms, but the dogwoods are on track to bloom in April, experts say.

Vandergriff said if the weather stays cool, the buds on dogwood trees will stay protected until they bloom, which is typically in April. If it stays warm, they could bloom early.

"It's those things that are fully open that will get damaged, so depending on if we get frost again," Vandergriff said.

It's something Dogwood Arts has to consider every year, and people who help run it are confident the festival will be a better year than ever, celebrating all the beauty spring in East Tennessee has to offer.

"The dogwoods will still be around, they're still going to be beautiful, and there's a lot more to celebrate when you think about this festival," Visit Knoxville President Kim Bumpas said.