spring buds on young hornbeam won't open

john9(5)May 26, 2014

We planted a young hornbeam last spring. This spring it budded and the buds began to swell but they seem to have gotten stuck and weeks have passed without them opening to leaves.
Any ideas? The tree seems to be still alive.
It's in a spot that is shaded all winter and the soil there froze very hard but the soil has long since thawed and warmed. Have the root area covered in mulch (bark).
It has had plenty of water going into and emerging from winter.
Any suggestions?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

This spring it budded and the buds began to swell but they seem to have gotten stuck and weeks have passed without them opening to leaves.

==>>> i kinda got lost in the words... flowers have petals... do you mean they didnt open the petals ...

or do you mean the tree did not leaf out ...

if flowers started to develop ... and then failed.. its a frost/freeze issue.. winter irrelevant ...

if the buds did not develop at all after winter... its a winter issue ..

regardless ... flower failure happens on all flowering plants ... every few years... its ma nature.. not really an indication of the health of the plant ... ask any professional fruit grower ...

w/o a pic.. its hard to give you anything specific as to your plant...

ken

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 5:47PM
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john9(5)

Sorry. Nothing to do with flowering. I meant that the leaf buds began to swell but have not opened. They have remained as they were a month ago. Yet the tree seems to be alive; if you snap a twig there is green inside and the twigs are supple.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 10:09PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Even that could be due to a late hard freeze killing the buds. Where are you located and did you have any hard freezes after you noticed the buds start to swell?

Pictures tell a thousand words...

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 10:52PM
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john9(5)

We are at 6,000 feet near Colorado Springs but there were no hard freezes once the buds noticeably began to swell. I opened one of them up today and there was some green inside. They haven't withered.
Unfortunately I don't have pictures.
I'm wondering if there might be some way to stimulate growth?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 12:33AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Take a pocket knife/pruner and cut through the buds at various locations to see if they're alive. They'll either be a) green tissue thru-ought b) hollow and brown/black c) a combination of green and brown tissue.

If it's a combination then the vascular cell tissue is rebuilding itself. If rebuilding or all green, healthy tissue, these are good signs and you should just wait w/o concern. If a lot of brown tissue and a slight amount of green, I wouldn't get my hopes up, but I'd also continue to wait and see what if any (buds) do open and go from there (re-post if that's the scenario.) You'll be pruning at that point in time.

Dax

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 8:35AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

oops! missed your last post.

hang on tight John.

I was going to edit and say to slice buds at various locations (on the tree.) Just wanted to clarify.

Dax

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 8:43AM
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