This may be the sight outside of your windows this weekend. It happens around this time every year if you have or a neighbor to maples and other trees. This year, though, it is much more prevalent.

Some call them "helicopters". Others call them "whirlybirds". My four-year-old son calls them "feathers". They are fruit, they are seed, and they are formally known as samaras. Like most plants, the seeds they disperse have the potential to be grown if the proper pollination takes place. For trees, more often than not, their seeds don't offer much growth possibilities. Now that we are in drought status, most trees kick off their seeds in order to survive and causes a lot more clean-up around the yard.

Get our free mobile app

Bob Coward, the co-host of the Garden Show on WBCK, stresses that water needs to be a priority this week. The good news is that cooler weather is on the way, but precipitation will once again be at a minimum. If you missed our recap last week, we are well behind in the water department. The updated drought monitor map below shows that the darker brown area is now in severe drought. It encompasses all of Allegan and Ottawa counties, along with a majority of Kent County and portions of Barry, Muskegon, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

The Michigan Drought Monitor as of May 20, 2021. (Adam Hartman - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Not to be outdone, the weather pattern that takes us beyond Memorial Day does not give Michigan any favors. Once again, we are back to above-normal temperatures and normal precipitation, seen below. In the month of June (based on the last 25 years), the Battle Creek area averages temperatures at 72 degrees. As for precipitation (same range), it sits at 3.96 inches of precipitation. In order to get out of drought status, we will need an absolute soaker to get us back to normal. With just .43 inches of rain in May, four inches below normal and almost eight inches below normal for the year, expect the darker brown to migrate east.

The 8-to-14 Day Temperature and Precipitation outlooks from May 31 to June 6, 2021. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

With a look at what we covered during the May 22nd edition of the Garden Show, here's the Update below.

Be sure to tune in to the Garden Show every Saturday during the spring and summer months on 95.3 WBCK. Call 269-441-9595 with your gardening question, email co-host Nathan Adams or join us through the App Chat function on the WBCK app.

Here was the onslaught of samaras experienced at my house last week.

The Signs of Drought Stress on Trees

Portions of Michigan are under severe drought conditions due to the lack of rain. One sign that your trees are under a lot of stress due to the lack of water is the heavy dispersal of samaras, shown here in my yard on May 21, 2021.