Warm weather spurs plants to begin growth cycles

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) -- Georgia's warm weather in recent days has prompted some plants to begin their growth cycles early, which could soon pose problems for people who suffer from allergies.

Several plants, including rose bushes, have begun growing new foliage, Hall County extension coordinator Michael Wheeler told The Times of Gainesville.

In some areas, trees and plants have already started budding.

An early bloom could mean that people accustomed to experiencing allergies in May might need to prepare for an earlier season, Wheeler said.

"That's one thing that people need to be ready for if they know they have allergies," he said.

A freeze later this year could be harmful to some vegetation, but experts say that plants are fairly resilient and could recover.

"Plants have been around a lot longer than we have," said Caywood Chapman, a retired botanist and professor of biology emeritus at Gainesville State College. "They have seen a lot of erratic ups and downs in temperature."

The National Weather Service is forecasting high temperatures in Atlanta of around 62 degrees Saturday and around 67 degrees on Sunday.