Green wave campaign

Depending on where you live, it may not feel much like spring yet. But maples, oaks, and poplars across the country are breaking bud, starting the flush of green that accompanies leaf out that is referred to as the green wave. 
Thank you for your interest in tracking the phenology of maples, oaks, and poplars . This year, we are asking you to focus your observations on flowering and fall color in your trees . These observations will help us learn more about pollen activity and the timing of fall color. Of course, you are are still welcome to report on breaking leaf buds, leaves, and other phenophases as well.

Observations of individual plants, taken on the ground, are critically important for resource management and scientific research. Plus, it's fun to see how the timing in leaf-out varies across the country... how will your trees stack up against those in other states?  
We'll provide you with periodic updates on this project over the course of the spring, summer, and fall of 2019.
If you tracked Green Wave plants in previous years, we are so glad to have you join us again this year! Observations submitted over multiple years from the same locations are the most valuable to scientists using your data. 
How to get started
1. If you have not already done so, set up a site and add your plants to it in  Nature's Notebook . Visit our website for further details on using Nature's Notebook  to observe phenology of maples, oaks, and poplars . We have added many more species to our list this year!
2. Start checking your trees (at least weekly) for flower buds. 

3. Report your observations . Periodically log into your Observation Deck and transfer your observations from your paper data sheet into the online reporting system.

Did you know?  You can enter your observations directly using our mobile apps for Android or Apple devices.
Observation Tips:
Even though all of our datasheets are ordered by leaves, then flowers, then fruits, some species of maples, oaks, and poplars produce their flowers before their leaves (a characteristic called precocious ).

For example, in red maple, Acer rubrum , flower buds appear and open before leaves break bud (see photo at right).

Read more about theories of why plants to do this.

Remember that flowers or flower buds is an overarching phenophase. You should continue to report flowers or flower buds even after you start reporting open flowers until all flowers on your tree have died/dried.
Red maple Photo: Ellen G Denny
What you are reporting so far this year
Observers have reported on maples, oaks, and poplars at 357 sites so far this year. The map below shows sites that have reported "yes" for flowers or flower buds or open flowers this year for commonly observed maples, oaks, and poplars.
Sites reporting "yes" for flowers or flower buds or open flowers in commonly observed maples, oaks, and poplars in 2019. Darker colors represent sites with more observations for that species.
We have many Local Phenology Programs (LPPs) submitting data on maples, oaks, and poplars along with our backyard observers. The LPPs submitting the most data so far this year are UNCO BIO 111, Brandeis University , and New York Botanical Garden Forest Phenology . Thank you for your efforts!
Observers are reporting flowering of red maple at sites across the country. Observers reported flowering starting in early January on the Gulf Coast, and more recently in Northeast states.
Observers are reporting flowering of other commonly-observed species of maples, oaks, and poplars as well. Observers reported flowering in California and valley oaks in early January, while aspen, a high-elevation species, was first reported flowering in mid-February.

Keep watching your trees for flowering this spring. Remember, the "no" observations that you report leading up to your first "yes" report are very important in helping data users to pinpoint when your tree first had flowers.

Earn your Tree Tracker badge! You can earn this badge by observing a maple, oak, or poplar once a week for six separate weeks in the same year. See it on your Observation Deck .

Thank you for your contributions to this important project!
Tree Tracker badge
Erin Posthumus