Dogwood Bloom May Be Early (290)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — This year’s relatively mild winter may bring dogwood blooms to Tennessee about a week earlier than usual, said Don Williams, a University of Tennessee professor of ornamental horticulture.

“Predictions are pretty subjective,” said Williams, “but there are indications the blooms are not going to be late this year.”

Provided temperatures remain near normal between now and April, the bloom in Knoxville may be about April 1. With cooler than normal temperatures, expect the bloom around the usual time — April 5-10 — in this area, Williams said.

Chattanooga dogwoods always bloom a few days ahead of Knoxville and the Memphis bloom comes even sooner — 5-7 days ahead of Knoxville, Williams said.

Knoxville shares comparable temperatures with Nashville and Northwest Tennessee so the blooms are on similar schedules in those areas. Upper East Tennessee and the mountains will follow Knoxville a few days, Williams said.

“You can have some fun following the bloom from the southern boundary of the dogwood’s range in Georgia,” Williams said. “When your friends in Atlanta tell you their dogwoods are in full bloom, 10 days later they will be in full bloom in Knoxville.”

Williams makes notes each year based on dogwood observations taken the first official day of spring, usually March 21.

‘On that date I’ve seen the buds range from real tight, to just cracked, to open about nickel size, to about quarter size,” Williams said. “We don’t call that full bloom because the bloom is not yet showy white.”

“Records do not very often show dogwoods here to bloom anytime in the month of March,” said Williams, who has been observing the dogwood bloom for 30 years. “If I had to figure an average, I would say only once in every 20 years.”

Contact: Dr. Don Williams (423-974-7324)