The yearly south-to-north wave of spring green may begin weeks earlier due to continually warming temperatures with some trees springing into action earlier than others.
Late-budding trees, such as the red maple, will likely be the most affected over the next hundred years. Red maples may begin leafing out 8 to 40 days earlier than in the 20th century. Trees in northern states, such as Maine, New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin, will experience the greatest quickening of spring.
Deciduous trees may receive a benefit from the changing climate, suggested biologists from Princeton University who published their study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. With a longer growing season, broadleaved trees may be able to out-compete pine trees. Over time, this could lead to dramatic changes in the species mix of northern forests.
An earlier spring also means that trees will begin their yearly inhale of carbon dioxide earlier, which could increase the total amount of the gas that they absorb in a year.