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Warm Weather Has Plants Blooming Before Winter Ends

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's hard to believe spring doesn't even start until Tuesday, but already flowers are blooming, and trees are budding.

It's all because of a long stretch of warm weather, including five days in a row of record-breaking temperatures in the 80s.

CBS 2's Roseanne Tellez went out to find out if the early blooms will survive, should the cold weather return.

The early stretch of summer-like weather has inspired a lot of people to get an early start on their gardens, but is that really such a good idea, given what we all know about Chicago weather?

Trees are flowering all over the city, daffodils are up, and tulips aren't far behind.

Residents are loving it. But they're also worried cold weather will return.

"I am. I do think we're going to get another snow," Sybil Blair said. "I haven't put anything away yet. I haven't put away our snow boots, haven't put away our hats yet. But, if anything, I think it'll only last a day or two and then it'll be gone."

Gethsemane Gardens arborist John Eskandari described the impact of our recent warm weather.

"One 70 degree day can accelerate a plant's growth by a week. We've had two weeks of temperatures above 70," he said.

And just look at the outcome.

"Forsithias blooming their hearts out right now," he said. "Red bud trees are pretty gorgeous."

Eskandari said the early spring has brought customers out in droves.

"My neighbors have already started to put things in. I have to keep up with the neighbors, but that's what it is, so it has to be, all the front has to be looking lovely," customer Jill Lowe said. "It's a risk isn't it?"

If there is another freeze, Eskandari has some simple tips for gardeners who started early.

"Anything that you can cover with a sheet or fabric of some kind, it has to be a porous material, not plastic or not a tarp," he said. "Water. I mean, I would get the hose out and start watering pretty aggressively as if it were summer."

If plants do lose their leaves because of the frost, he said it's early enough in the season that the leaves probably will grow back.

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