COVID-19 UPDATES: Keeping Visitors Healthy

Spring Flowers on Trees

March 10, 2016  |  Permalink

Early spring and everyone is looking for the first flowers. The daffodils and crocus are out and the naturalists are proudly posting photos of the first blooms from the native plants. But many miss the flowers above. Some trees are in bloom right now, like the red maple and the winged elm. Indeed, the elms and maples are trees that bloom before putting out leaves.

I love to walk along in the early spring where you can get an overall view of the forest. The red maple and its tiny red flowers are subtle but when you look closely the red on the branches stand out nicely. Often the fallen flowers of the maple tell you when to look up to see where from they have come.

The winged elm has the same subtle look but in a rich golden brown. These flowers will soon change into the fruits which are the same colors.

On these wonderful early days of spring nature seems to be waking up and the early flowers are the proof. It would be a shame to miss the first natural color of the season. Get out into a park and enjoy the early flowers and do not forget to look up at the trees.


Looking for a way to get outside and see these blooms in person?

Join us on March 19 on one of our Spring Hikes. We are hosting 55 free, guided hikes across the state. Click here to find a park near you and come see these blooms with your own eyes. 

About the author

Tennessee State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath is a native of west Tennessee, where his family’s farm was just 15 miles from the Tennessee River. After graduating from UT Martin and working seasonally for several years for the National Park Service and Tennessee State Parks, he has spent the last 33 years with state parks. Randy worked as a ranger/naturalist at South Cumberland State Park on the Cumberland Plateau and at Radnor Lake Natural Area in Nashville until 2007 when he was given the opportunity to be the statewide naturalist for the state park system.