Happy Spring! The fieldwork season for wetland delineations is quickly approaching. Wetland delineations must be conducted during the “growing season” – which has many definitions. Both the traditional agricultural usage of the frost-free period and scientists’ concept of biological zero are included in the definition of “growing season.”
Since we usually lack direct soil temperature data, agency guidance allows for field observations of above-ground plant growth to estimate the onset of the growing season. Here’s what I look for – if above-ground plant growth (known as “green out”) is readily observable in the form of bud burst on woody plants, emergence of herbaceous plants from the ground, or opening of flowers, then I know the growing season has sprung!