SYRACUSE, N.Y., March 20 (UPI) -- Unseasonably high temperatures and an early spring have trees and other plants developing flowers two to three weeks earlier than usual, U.S. researchers say.
Researchers at the State University of New York say the result could be a long and intense allergy season.
There is also concern about fruit crops if the early budding fruit were to experience late spring frosts typical of the eastern United States, they said.
"This warm weather might be really pleasant and some people might find it comforting," biologist Donald J. Leopold said in a SUNY release Monday.
"But when the weather is really altered from typical conditions, there are always winners and losers among all types of both plants and animals. With the many plant and animal species in the East, some will benefit and some will be adversely impacted with these unusually warm conditions."
In his 27 years at SUNY, Leopold said, he has never seen woody and herbaceous plants blooming on the Syracuse campus before April 1.
With temperatures for Tuesday and Wednesday predicted to be in the 70s or even 80s the early blooming cycle will continue, he said.
"Things are really going to pop this week."
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