In an effort to socially distance myself yesterday, I discovered a surprising natural phenomenon. This mild winter has caused the local pussy willow population to spring ahead!

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Usually, you won't see this type of budding until at least a week into April but alas here they are.

I wouldn't categorize them as full bloom yet or even 'ready to pick', but for those of you that harvest them every year as a Granite State tradition, I would certainly monitor your local trees.

As far as I can tell, clipping these branches once the buds look like giant Q-Tips isn't detrimental to the health of these trees, in fact, the opposite is true.

Yearly clipping of the trees around my folks property has only made them more prominent.

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As you can see from the photo above, the 'catkins' are quite plentiful and it looks like sooner than later, I'll be out here with my shearers gathering the 2020 crop.