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Leaf-Out Update: February 20, 1998

Today's Report Includes:

First Leaf-Out Reports from Texas

February 15, 1998
"They redbuds are now starting to leaf out in our area. I could hardly believe my eyes when they had open blooms on January 25th this year. It's been quite interesting to note that trees within a few hundred yards of each other didn't necessarily bloom at the same time. I don't have an answer as to why--but it did provoke some questions in my mind. The pattern for leafing out seems to be following pretty much the same order as blooms did."
Jo Leland, Houston, Texas (joleland@cs.rice.edu)

Blooming redbuds have been reported from Houston, Austin and Humble, Texas. The leaves should emerge any day across the region. In Georgia and Texas, dogwoods have begun to bud, but the leaves have not emerged yet. Watch for a data summary in our March 6th update.
Help Track Spring
We hope you'll help us measure spring's northward journey by reporting when leaves emerge on your trees. When the leaves on your adopted tree are the size of a quarter (or our definition of "leaf-out"), report to Journey North. Simply press the Owl Button and a Field Data Form will appear.

Maple Sugaring Study Begins Today

Report the date your TAP your FIRST Sugar Maple tree this spring to Journey North!

If Sugar Maple trees grow where you live, we hope you'll participate in Journey North's maple sugaring study--new this year. Although the trees still look drab and gray in northern regions, amazing changes are about to occur on the inside. Before leaf-out each spring, Sugar Maple trees produce a sweet sap that can be made into sugar. Learn how to tap a maple--and report the date of your FIRST maple tree tap to Journey North. For more information about tapping, visit these WWW sites:

Note: Even if you can't tap a tree, you can watch for the first sap to run. Simply find a broken branch on a Maple tree--and report to Journey North when the first sap flows.

If you have adopted a Sugar Maple for the leaf-out study this spring, you can track the phenology of your adopted maple tree on this chart:

February 16, 1998
"We tapped our first maple tree this very early this year--on February 16th. According to local records, only once in the last 28 years has it been possible to tap so early. We usually wait until early to mid March, because temperature is very important. Four to 5 days in the 40's with freezing nights usually starts the sap flowing. Here are some other signs that the sugaring season is on: Crows congregating and singing, icicles dripping on the branches, watering trickling on the roads, snow receding from the base of the trees...these are all signs it's time to get ready to tap."
Beth Allen, Deephaven, Minnesota (betha@usinternet.com)

Challenge Question #1
"Why do you think sap runs in the springtime? Why do you think maple sap is sweet?"

How to Respond to Challenge Question # 1
1. Address an e-mail message to: jn-challenge-leaf@learner.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 1
3. In the body of the message, give your answer to the question above.

The Next Leaf-Out Update will Be Posted March 6, 1998.

Copyright 1998 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.