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April 25, 2014

The big bloom: Trees thick with flowers in Wichita area

The past week has been particularly floriferous for the Wichita area. People are saying that their redbuds and whitebuds, to name but two examples, have never been thicker with blooms.

The past week has been particularly floriferous for the Wichita area. People are saying that their redbuds and whitebuds, to name but two examples, have never been thicker with blooms.

The dwarf crabapples on the median strips along McLean Boulevard downtown have been fluffy white and pink umbrellas. The three Canada Red chokecherries in Bill Eberth’s east-side front yard were in full bloom just in time for Easter.

“Johnson Garden Center planted them 12 years ago, and today has to be their prettiest bloom of pink color ever,” Eberth reported on Sunday. “I try to cut the pencil straight suckers off in late March, and just maybe that helped them to bloom so aggressively.” Eberth also pointed out that birds, especially robins, love to eat the cherries from January through March.

The reason for the great bloom may be that the flowers got nipped by a late freeze last year, extension agent Bob Neier said. When that happens, the next year’s flowering tends to be heavier.

Louise Newman, who lives in west Wichita, was not about to let a late freeze get her wisteria tree this year. She spent $50 on FreezePruf and stood on an 8-foot ladder applying it to her 10- to 12-foot-high tree last week, the night before Wichita’s last frost. And this week?

“My whole neighborhood smells like Avon lilac perfume,” Newman said.

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