Elm Tree Buds Are Small And Drop Easily In Cold Winter

Question From: Samson, Alabama, United States
Q: We have had an abnormally cold winter in the southeast this year. I have 4 elm trees that normally started budding out in mid to late April. Now, in mid February, they are all is budding out with an overall brownish color. The "buds" are small and fall of the limbs easily. This is occurring over the entire tree. Should I be worried or is this "normal" for an unusually cold winter? They are 20-25 feet tall and give much needed shade here in south Alabama. Thanks so much.

A: Deciduous trees have latent buds that should save the day. Do be sure the trees stay well hydrated. It may take them longer to leaf out in spring. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy