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Morton Arboretum

Force spring's hand by bringing branches to bloom indoors

Force spring's hand by bringing branches to bloom indoors

One way we can get a taste of spring a little early is to force branches into flower. It's easy to do, according to Kris Bachtell, vice president of collections and facilities at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. "Forcing" means bringing plants indoors to encourage them to do what comes naturally, only sooner. Inside our warm homes, branches will come out of their winter dormancy and open their buds weeks ahead of time. Choose branches from plants that flower in early spring, such as forsythia, cherry, Cornelian cherry dogwood, pussy willow or redbud, Bachtell says. He also likes boxwood: "The wispy spring flowers are not showy, but they have a very pleasant...

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