The Silver Maples, Acer saccharinum, in my neck of the woods are blooming. February or not... feels like "spring" to me!
Silver Maple trees are among the first to bloom in Ohio clocking in at 34 growing degree days (GDD) for first bloom and 42 GDD for full bloom. I caught these photos at 51 GDD. You can check your own location by visiting the OSU Phenology Calendar at http://go.osu.edu/degreeday. Amy Stone recently posted an article about using the GDD website. Find the article, "As Temperatures Warm, Don't Forget Growing Degree Days" here.
I snapped some photos of the buds bursting, in various stages of expansion.
And, as noted in Erik Draper's 2016 article, "Silver Maple Fascination", silver maple flowers can come in both a yellow-green hue as well as the vibrant reddish pink! Often Silver Maples are predominantly male or female, but often trees have both male and female flowers, as was the case with my samples. The new word I learned in the USDA Plant Guide in regards to this phenomenon is "polygamo-dioecious" which I have boiled down to, "nature doesn't read the handbook".
Check out Erik's article for a deeper dive into the ins and outs of Silver Maple flowers.
It got up to 56 degrees Fahrenheit today and in true Ohio fashion it's set to go up and down, with snow yet predicted for next Wednesday. We'll see how these flowers fair when it comes possible freezing to produce some seeds!