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White cedars

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Marcel starts with ...
My two of my white cedars have not leafed up as yet, and my third one seems very sparse this year. I know the two that have not leafed up are usually late plus the weather here in Adelaide has been 'crazy'; 35 one day, 18 the next. any ideas?

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26th November 2018 12:31pm
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brad16 says...
Hi Marcel,

I have some small Melia azedarach (White Cedar) seedlings and they have all flushed new growth as I would have expected. My Winter/early Spring would be warmer than yours, so that doesn't surprise me. Mine would have started a little before yours.

This Spring started off ok, but quickly reverted back to weather that I associate with Autumn (cool, windy and changeable). I think this happened just at a time when trees were getting signals to break dormancy. Some trees started just before the weather changed, while others didn't and are still waiting for that to happen again (which I think is happening right now). Hence, instead of being a week or so behind their counterparts, it's now a month or more.

Even though my 'White Cedar' broke before the change, I also have some others that show this behaviour.

I have a mix of deciduous trees all in the one location. A few apple trees have flushed, and flowered, while a couple of others (I thought had died) have just started to bud. Same with a batch of peach trees I received in this season's bare root sales. There was a Cresthaven that I didn't think was going to make it, while all the others have being going strong for over a month. The Cresthaven showed a small green leaf just yesterday.

I have some more tropical plants also, that started flushing new growth, but the change of weather has retarded them and what has started to grow has become gnarly and stagnant.

Apart from the variable weather, there are a couple of factors to consider.

Trees grown from pollinated seed vary genetically, and your one tree that breaks dormancy earlier than the other two may do this because of a genetic difference, or because it gets slightly better growing conditions in early Spring.

Have a look at the local environment each particular tree grows in. If the one that usually breaks before the other two is in a spot that gets conditions, like more morning sun in Spring, sheltered from cool breezes, has light/warmth reflected from window/wall/shed etc, is near a heat generating source, like a hot water heater, air conditioning motor and things like that.

Are your trees in pots, or in the ground?

From the description you have given, I think the weather has caused your concern and should only be temporary, with growth being delayed, which should soon take off. I'm inclined to think that the one that grows earlier gets some kind of extra benefit from somewhere, although it may be a genetic trait. If it started just before a weather change, then its growth may have been slowed by the less optimal conditions, while the other two continued to wait.
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27th November 2018 2:42pm
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