BOSTON (CBS) – After the warmest winter on record, we’re racing full steam into spring – giving the landscape a breather.

“This warm weather is actually allowing some of these plants that were heavily damaged last year to recover,” says Sue Pfeiffer, a horticulturist at Arnold Arboretum.

However, wild temperature fluctuations have made for some odd appearances.

For example, honey bees feasting on the pollen of early blooms in March. And they’re hungry.

A honey bee feasts on the pollen of early blooms. (WBZ-TV)

A honey bee feasts on the pollen of early blooms. (WBZ-TV)

“You can tell they’re a little skinny right now,” Pfeiffer said. “They need to put on a little weight.”

The warmth also brought an infamous invader: the winter moth.

Pfeiffer says a prolific amount of larvae may hatch this week, the earliest she can remember. And it means our trees are about to take a beating.

“They’re going to hatch and they’re going to climb out and they’re going to crawl into the bud and they’re going to start chewing and eating around in there, eating the foliage and eating the flowers,” she told WBZ-TV.

“So, the longer the buds stay closed, the more feeding is going on.”

Pfeiffer believes there’s no reason to be concerned about your bulbs. Crocus, snowdrops, and eventually daffodils are all quite hardy. Even though they’ve been up for months, they’ll still bloom this spring.

Shrubs like Rhododendron are ready to go, thanks to an unfrozen ground and recent rain.

“These plants are quite spectacular,” Pfeiffer said. “The buds are huge, they’re ready to flower, the leaves are nice and green and lush.”

Rhododendron ready to bloom. (WBZ-TV)

Rhododendron ready to bloom. (WBZ-TV)

One big thing to watch will be fruit trees, which are always vulnerable to timing and late-season cold.

But the main theme is to prepare for a lot of green – and allergies – well ahead of schedule.

Pfeiffer also noted that early season plants and flowers tend to respond to temperature fluctuations, but late spring trees and shrubs more closely track length of daylight. So they tend to come around the same time every year, regardless of temperatures.

And maple producers are reporting a great season even without the big cold. Some tapped their trees all the way back in January!


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