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Warmer than normal winter may set up possibility for increased late-winter damage to landscape trees and shrubs.

Posted by Dean Morales
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While people living in northern Michigan received a reminder this weekend of what winter in Michigan is all about, residents of the southern Lower Peninsula continue to enjoy a mild and warmer than average winter.

Based on MSU’s Enviro-weather’s records, daily average temperatures in the East Lansing, Mich., area are tracking 5.2°F warmer this winter than during the previous 15 years. The departure from the 15-year mean is even larger (more than 5.6°F) when we look at daily minimum temperatures (see Figure 1). Minimum temperatures are especially important when discussing winter injury to landscape plants since extreme low temperatures and conditions immediately preceding them are often responsible for bud-kill and other winter-related plant injuries.

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